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“ What is aimed at is an accurate description, illustrated by plans, measurements, 
drawings or photographs, and by copies of insci-iptions, of such remains as most 
deserve notice, with the history of them so far as it may he traceable, and a record 
of the traditions that are preserved regarding them.” Lord Canning. 

“ What the learned world demand of us in India is to be quite certain of our 
data, to place the monumental record before them exactly as it now exists, and to 
interpret it faithfully and literally.” James Psinsep. 

Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1838, p. 227. 




1871 .' 



The matter contained in these two volumes is the result 
of the archaeological survey which I conducted during four 
consecutive years from 1862 to 1865. The object of this 
survey cannot he better stated than in the memorandum 
which I laid before Lord Canning in November 1861, and 
which led to my immediate appointment as Archaeological 
Surveyor to the Government of India, as notified in the 
following minute : 

Minute by the Right Hon’ble the Governor General of India 
in Council on the Antiquities of Upper India, — dated 22nd 
January 1862. 

“ In November last, when at Allahabad, I had some com- 
munications with Colonel A. Cunningham, then the Chief 
Engineer of the North-Western Provinces, regarding an 
investigation of the archaeological remains of Upper India. 

“ It is impossible to pass through that part, — or indeed, 
so far as my experience goes, any part — of the British ter- 
ritories in India without being struck by the neglect with 
which the greater portion of the architectural remains, and 
of the traces of by-gone civilization have been treated, 
though many of these, and some which have had least 
notice, are full of beauty and interest. 

“ By ‘ neglect’ I do not mean only the omission to 
restore them, or even to arrest their decay ; for this would 
be a task which, in many cases, would require an expendi- 
ture of labour and money far greater than any Government 
of India could reasonably bestow upon it. 

“ But so far as the Government is concerned, there has 
been neglect of a much cheaper duty, — that of investigat- 
ing and placing on record, for the instruction of future 
generations, many particulars that might still be rescued 
from oblivion, and throw light upon the early history of 
England’s great dependency ; a history which, as time moves 
on, as the country becomes more easily accessible and 



traversable, and as Englishmen are led to give more thought 
to India than such as barely suffices to hold it and govern 
it, will assuredly occupy, more and more, the attention of 
the intelligent and enquiring classes in European countries. 

“ It will not be to our credit, as an enlightened ruling 
power, if we continue to allow such fields of investigation, 
as the remains of the old Euddhist capital in Behar, the 
vast ruins of Kanouj, the plains round Delhi, studded with 
ruins more thickly than even the Campagna of Borne, and 
manv others, to remain without more examination than thev 
have hitherto received. Everv thing that has hitherto been 
done in this way has been done by private persons, imper- 
fectly and without system. It is impossible not to feel that 
there are European Governments, which, if they had held 
our rule in India, would not have allowed this to be said. 

“ It is true that in 1844*, on a representation from the 
Boyal Asiatic Society, and in 1847, in accordance with 
detailed suggestions from Lord Hardinge, the Court of 
Directors gave a liberal sanction to certain arrangements for 
examining, delineating, and recording some of the chief 
antiquities of India. But for one reason or another, mainly 
perhaps owing to the officer entrusted with the task having 
other work to do, and owing to his early death, very little 
seems to have resulted from this endeavour. A few drawings 
of antiquities, and some remains, were transmitted to the 
India Douse, and some 15 or 20 papers were contributed by 
Major Kittoe and Major Cunningham to the Journals of 
the Asiatic Society ; but, so far as the Government is con- 
cerned, the scheme appears to have been lost sight of within 
two or three years of its adoption. 

“ I enclose a memorandum drawn up by Colonel Cunning- 
ham, who has, more than any other officer on this side of 
India, made the antiquities of the country his study, and 
who has here sketched the course of proceeding which a 
more complete and systematic archaeological investigation 
should, in his opinion, take. 

“ I think it good, — and none the worse for being a begin- 
ning on a moderate scale. It will certainly cost very little 
in itself, and will commit the Government to no future or 
unforeseen expense. Bor it does not contemplate the spend- 
ing of any money upon repairs and preservation. This, 



when done at all, should he done upon a separate and full 
consideration of any case which may seem to claim it. 
What is aimed at is an accurate description, — illustrated 
by plans, measurements, drawings or photographs, and by 
copies of inscriptions, — of such remains as most deserve 
notice, with the history of them so far as it may he trace- 
able, and a record of the traditions that are retained regard- 
ing them. 

“ I propose that the work he entrusted to Colonel Cun- 
ningham, with the understanding that it continue during 
the present and the following cold season, by which time a 
fair judgment of its utility and interest may be formed. 
It may then he persevered in, and expanded, or otherwise 
dealt with as may seem good at the time. 

“ Colonel Cunningham should receive Rs. 450 a month, 
with Its. 250 when in the field to defray the cost of making 
surveys and measurements, and of other mechanical assist- 
ance. If something more should he necessary to obtain 
the services of a native subordinate of the Medical or Public 
Works Department, competent to take photographic views, 
it should he given. 

“ It would be premature to determine how the results of 
Colonel Cunningham’s labours should be dealt with ; but 
whilst the Government would of course retain a proprietary 
right in them for its own purposes, I recommend that the 
interests of Colonel Cunningham should be considered in the 
terms upon which they may be furnished to the Public.” 

Memorandum by Colonel A. Cunningham, of Engineers, regarding a 
proposed investigation of the archaeological remains of Upper India. 

« During the one hundred years of British dominion in 
India, the Government has done little or nothing towards 
the preservation of its ancient monuments, which, in the 
almost total absence of any written history, form the only 
reliable sources of information as to the early condition of 
the country. Some of these monuments have already en- 
dured for ages, and are likely to last for ages still to come ; 
but there are many others which are daily suffering from 
the effects of time, and which must soon disappear alto- 
gether, unless preserved by the accurate drawings and faith- 
ful descriptions of the archaeologist. 



“ All that has hitherto been done towards the illustration 
of ancient Indian history has been due to the unaided efforts 
of private individuals. These researches consequently have 
always been desultory and unconnected and frequently in- 
complete, owing partly to the short stay which individual 
officers usually make at any particular place, and partly to 
the limited leisure which could he devoted to such pursuits. 

“ Hitherto the Government has been chiefly occupied 
with the extension and consolidation of empire, hut the 
establishment of the Trigonometrical Survey shews that it 
has not been unmindful of the claims of science. It would 
redound equally to the honor of the British Government to 
institute a careful and systematic investigation of all the 
existing monuments of ancient India. 

“ In describing the ancient geography of India, the elder 
Pliny, for the sake of clearness, follows the footsteps of 
Alexander the Great. For a similar reason, in the present 
proposed investigation, I would follow the footsteps of the 
Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thsang, who, in the seventh century 
of our era, traversed India from west to east and hack again 
for the purpose of visiting all the famous sites of Buddhist 
history and tradition. In the account of his travels, although 
the Buddhist remains are described in most detail with all 
their attendant legends and traditions, yet the numbers and 
appearance of the Brahmanical temples are also noted, and 
the travels of the Chinese pilgrim thus hold the same place 
in the history of India, which those of Pausanias hold in 
the history of Greece. 

“ In the North-Western Provinces and Bihar the princi- 
pal places to he visited and examined are the following, which 
are also shown in the accompanying sketch map : 

“ I. Khdlsi, on the Jumna, where the river leaves the 
hills. — At this place there still exists a large boulder stone, 
covered with one of Asoka’s inscriptions, in which the names 
of Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magas, and Alexander 
are all recorded. This portion of the inscription, which on 
the rock of Kapurdigiri (in the Yusufzai plain), and of 
Dliauli (in Cuttack) is much mutilated and abraded, is here 
in perfect preservation. A copy of this inscription and an 
account of the ruins would therefore he valuable. 



“ II. Hariclwdr, on the Ganges, with the opposite city 

“ III. Manddwar , Sambhal, and Sahaswdn , in Rohil- 

“ IY. Karsdna near Khasganj. 

“ Y. Sankissa, between Mainpuri and Fattehgarh, where 
it is known that many remains of Buddhism still exist. 
This was one of the sacred places amongst the Buddhists. 

“ YI. Mathura . — In one of the ancient mounds outside 
the city the remains of a large monastery have been lately dis- 
covered. Numerous statues, sculptured pillars, and inscribed 
bases of columns, have been brought to light. Amongst 
these inscriptions, some, which are dated in an unknown era, 
are of special interest and value. They belong most probably 
to the first century of the Christian era, and one of them 
records the name of the great King Huvishka, who is pre- 
sumed to be the same as the Indo-Scythian King Hushka. 

“ YII. Delhi . — The Hindu remains of Delhi are few, 
but interesting. The stone pillars of Asoka and the iron 
pillar are well known, but the other remains have not yet 
been described, although none have been more frequently 
visited than the magnificent ruined cloisters around the Kut'b 
Minar, which belong to the period of the Great Tuar 

£< VIII. Kanouj . — No account of the ruins of this once 
celebrated capital has yet been published. Several ruins are 
known to exist, but it may be presumed that many more 
would be brought to light by a careful survey of the site. 

“IX. Kausdmhi . — On the Jumna 30 miles above Alla- 
habad. — The true position of this once famous city has only 
lately been ascertained. It has not yet been visited, but it 
may be confidently expected that its remains would well 
repay examination. 

“X. Allahabad . — The only existing relics of antiquity 
that I am aware of are the well known pillar of Asoka and 
the holy tree in one of the underground apartments of the 
fort. Many buildings once existed, but I am afraid that 
they were all destroyed to furnish materials for the erection 
of the fort in the reign of Akbar. 

“ XI. To the south of Allahabad there are the ruins of 
Kajrdho and Mahoha , the two capitals of the ancient Cliandel 



Rajas of Bundlekhand. The remains at Kajraho are more 
numerous and in better preservation than those of any other 
ancient city that I have seen. Several long and important 
inscriptions still exist, which give a complete genealogy of the 
Chandel dynasty for about 400 years. 

“ XII. Ban&ras . — The magnificent tope of Sarnath is 
well known ; but no description of the tope, nor of the ruins 
around it, has yet been published. At a short distance from 
Banaras is the inscribed pillar of Bhitari, which requires to 
be re-examined. 

“ XIII. Jonpur . — Although the existing remains at this 
place are Muhammadan, yet it is well known that the prin- 
cipal buildings were originally Hindu temples, of which the 
cloisters still remain almost unaltered. These ruins have 
not yet been described, but from my own success, in the 
beginning of this year, in discovering a Sanskrit inscription 
built into one of the arches, I believe that a careful examina- 
tion would be rewarded with further discoveries of interest 
illustrative of the great Rathor dynasty of Kanouj. 

“ XIV. Fgzdbdd . — The ruins of Ajudhva have not been 
described. Numerous very ancient coins are found in the site 
and several ruined mounds are known to exist there ; but no 
account has yet been published. As the birth-place of 
Rama and as the scene of one of the early events in Bud- 
dha’s life, Ajudhva has always been held equally sacred, both 
by Brahmins and Buddhists, and I feel satisfied that a sys- 
tematic examination of its ruins would be rewarded by the 
discovery of many objects of interest. 

“ XV. Sravasti . — Even the site of this once celebrated 
city is unknown, but it may be looked for between EyzaMd 
and Gorakhpur. 

“XVI. Kapilavastu, the birth-place of Buddha, was 
held in special veneration by his followers, but its site is 

“ XVII. Kusinagara , the scene of Buddha’s death, 
was one of the most holy places in India in the estimation 
of Buddhists, but its site is at present unknown. It may, 
however, confidently be looked for along the line of the 
Gunduk river. At Kapila and Kusinagara, the scenes of 
Buddha’s birth and death, numerous topes and stately monas- 
teries once existed to attest the pious munificence of his 
votaries. The ruins of many of these buildings must still 



exist, and would no doubt reward a careful search. At 
31athia, Radhia, and Bakra, in Tirliut, stone pillars still re- 
main, and in other places ruined topes were seen by Major 
Kittoe ; but no description of these remains has yet been 
made known. 

“XVIII. Vaisali . — This city was the scene of the 
second Buddhist synod, and was one of the chief places of 
note amongst Buddhists. At Bassar, to the north of Patna, 
one tope is known to exist, but no search has yet been made 
for other remains. The people of Vaisali were known to 
Ptolemy, who calls them Passaloe. 

“ XIX. Patna . — The ancient Palibothra. I am not 
aware that there are any existing remains at Patna, but 
numerous coins, gems, and seals are annually found in the 
bed of the river. 

“ XX. Paj agriha, between Patna and Gaya, was the 
capital of Magadha in the time of Buddha. Some of the 
principal scenes of his life occurred in its neighbourhood, 
and the place was consequently held in very great veneration 
by all Buddhists. Every hill and every stream had been 
made holy by Buddha’s presence, and the whole country 
around Bajagrilia was covered with buildings to commem- 
orate the principal events of his life. Numerous ruined 
topes, sculptured friezes, and inscribed pillars still remain 
scattered over the country as lasting proofs of the high venera- 
tion in which this religious capital of Buddhism was held by 
the people. 

“ In this rapid sketch of the places that seem worthy of 
examination, I have confined myself entirely to the North- 
Western Provinces, and Bihar, as containing most of the 
cities celebrated in the ancient history of India. But to 
make this account of Indian archaeological remains more 
complete, it would be necessary to examine the ancient 
cities of the Panjab, such as Taxila, Sakala, and Jalandhar 
on the west, the caves and inscribed rocks of Cuttack and 
Orissa on the east, and the topes and other remains of Ujain 
and Bhilsa, w r ith the caves of Dhamnar and Kliolvi in 
Central India. 

“ I believe that it would be possible to make a careful 
examination of all the places which I have noted during two 
cold seasons. The first season might be devoted to a survey 
of Gaya and Bajagrilia, and of all the remains in Tirliut to 
the eastward of Banaras and Gorakhpur, while the survey of 
all to the westward of Banaras would occupy the second season. 



" I would attach to the description of each place a general 
survey of the site, showing clearly the positions of all the 
existing remains, with a ground plan of every building or 
ruin of special note, accompanied hy drawings and sections 
of all objects of interest. It would he desirable also to 
have photographic views of many of the remains, both of 
architecture and of sculpture ; but to obtain these it would 
he necessary to have the services of a photographer. Careful 
fac-similes of all inscriptions would of course he made, 
ancient coins would also he collected on each site, and all 
the local traditions would be noted down and compared. 
The description of each place with all its accompanying 
drawings and illustrations would be complete in itself, and 
the whole, when finished, would furnish a detailed and 
accurate account of the archaeological remains of Upper 

A perusal of the four reports contained in these 
volumes will show that I carried out with hut little devia- 
tion the programme laid down in this memorandum. The 
report of each season’s works was written during the fol- 
lowing hot weather and rains, which was too short a period 
to admit of sufficient reading and reflection for the prepara- 
tion of a well considered account of all the interesting places 
visited. Each report was printed immediately after its sub- 
mission to Government for official circulation. Some of 
these official copies have been reprinted, hut the whole stock 
was soon exhausted, and, as frequent enquiry is still made for 
them, the present publication is intended to place within the 
reach of all who are interested in archaeological researches 
a cheap account of the only systematic, though incomplete, 
survey that has yet been made of the antiquities of North- 
ern India. 

The work has been carefully examined and cleared of all 
obvious errors ; and numerous alterations and additions have 
been made to the text, which is now supplied with the 
necessary notes and references that were wanting in the 
official copies. To make the account as complete as possible, 
I have added no less than ninety-nine maps, views, plans 
and other illustrations, all of which have been drawn by my 
own hand. 


The 15 tli October 1871. 





Pbeface ... ... ... .. i 

Inteodtjction ... ... ... ... I 

REPORT OF 1861-62. 

1. Gaya ... ... ... .1 

2. Buddha-Gaya ... ... ... ... 4 

3. Bakror ... ... ... ... 12 

4. Pun&wa ... ... ... ... 13 

5. Ku.rki har, or Kukkutapada-giri ... ... ... 14 

6 . Giryek, or Indi - a-sila-guba ... ... ... 16 

7. Bdjgir, or Rdjagi’ika ... ... ... 20 

8 . Baragaon or Nalanda ... ... ... 28 

9. Bib&r ... ... ... ... 36 

10. Ghosriwa ... ... ... ... 38 

11. Titarciwa ... ... ... ... 39 

12. Aphsar ... ... ... ... 40 

13. Barabar ... ... ... ... ib. 

14. Dharawat ... ... ... ... 53 

15. Bes&rb or Vais&li ... ... ..." ... 55 

16. Kesariya ... ... ... ... 54 

17. Lauriya Ara-Naj ... ... ... ... 57 

18. Lauriya Navandgarh ... ... ... 68 

19. Padaraona, or Pawa... ... ... ... 74 

20 . Kasia, or Kusinagara ... ... ... 76 

21 . Khukhundo, or Kislikindapura ... ... ... 85 

22 . Kahaon, or Kakubharati ... ... ... 91 

23. Hatbiya-dab ... ... ... ... 95 

24. Bhitari ... ... ... . gg 

25. Banaras Sdruatb ... ... ... 103 




REPORT OF 1862-63. 





... 131 



... 231 



... 244 


Madawar, or Madipur 

... 248 


Kashipui - , or Govisana 

... 251 


Bamnagar, or Ahichhatra 

... 255 


Soron, or Surakshetra 

... 265 


Atranjikkera, or Pilosana 

... 268 


Sankisa, or Sangkasya 

... 271 


Kanoj, or Kanyakubja 

... 279 


Kakupur, or Ayuto ... 

... 293 


Daundiakkera, or Hayamukka 

... 296 


Allakakad, or Prayaga 

... ib. 


Kosam or Kosdmki ... 

... 301 


Sultanpur, or Kusapura 

... 313 



... 315 


Ajudkya, or Saketa ... 

... 317 


Hatila, or Asokpur ... 

... 327 


Saket-Maket, or Srdvasti 


... 330 



... 348 



... 350 




... 351 



... 352 



... 357 




... 358 



• •• 

... ib. 







Map of the Gangetic Provinces, shewing the travels of Fa 

Hian and Hwen Thsang 



Map of North-West India, showing Hwen Thsang’s Route ... 


Map of Gaya and Bihdr 



Plan of the Great Temple at Buddha-Gaya, with the Bodhi- 
drum, or Holy Fig tree, and the Buddhist Railing sur- 

rounding the Tree and Temple 



Pedestal of Statue in the Great Temple, with Niches from 
the exterior ornamentation of the Great Temple, and 

Temple of T&ra Devi .. . 



Pavement Slabs from the granite floor of the Great Temple, 
showing worshippers paying their adorations after the 

manner of the Burmese ShiJcoh 



The Buddha-pad, or Prints of Buddha’s feet, in front of the 
Great Temple. Inscriptions on Granite Pillars reading 

Ayaye Kuragiye danam 



Corner and middle Pillars of the Sandstone Railings — in the 

Samadh of Guru Chait Mall, marked B and C in Plate IV. 



Sculptured Basreliefs on the Buddhist Railings. The letters 
A. E. F. refer to sandstone Pillars in the Samadh, and 

the Nos. to Granite Pillars in the Mahan t’s residence 



Ditto ditto ditto 



Ditto ditto ditto 



Maps of Punawa and Kurkih&r 



Inscriptions at Nalanda, Rajgir, Giryek, and Kurkihar. In- 
scriptions Nos. 1 and 2 contain the name of Nalanda. 
No. 1 gives the name Gopala, the foimder of the Pfila 

dynasty of Bengal in the 1st year of his reign 



Map of Rajgir and Giryek, showing the site of the ancient 
city of Ivusagarapura and the positions of its five sur- 

rounding hills 



View of Jarasandha’s Baithak at Giryek ... 



Map of the ruins of N &lan da 



Bihar Pillar Inscriptions ... 



Map of Barabar and Nagarjuni Hills 



Plans and Sections of Barabar and Nagarjuni Caves 



Inscriptions in ditto ditto 



Map of Besarh and Bakra ... 



Pillars at Bakhra and Lauriya 



Maps of Kesariya and Lauriya Navandgarh 









View of the Kesariya Stupa and Mound 

... 66 


View of the Pillar and Mounds at Lauriya ... 

... 68 


Map of Kasia, or Kusinagara 

... 76 


View of Kasia 

... 78 


Maps of Khukhundo and Kahaon 

... 85 


Kahaon and Bhitari Pillars 

... 92 


Inscriptions on ditto ditto 

... 94 


Maps of Sarnath, Banaras ... 

... 104 


Major Kittoe’s Excavations at Sarnath 

... 116 


Lieutenant Cunningham’s ditto ditto 

... 120 


Ditto Inscriptions from Sarnath 

... 123 


















No. 1 is the Buddhist profession of faith, found at 10 feet 
from the top of the Great Stupa. 

No. 2 gives the characters in use when the Stupa was building. 
No. 3 records the religious gift (of a statue) of S&lcya Bhik- 
shu by Buddha Sena. 

No. 4 records a gift by Hari Gupta. 

No. 5, in much later characters, gives the Buddhist profession 
of faith, and records the religious gift of the Up&sika, 
Thakkur Sri Yajnaka? 

Map of the Ruins of Delhi 

Map of L&lkot, the Hindu Citadel of Delhi... 

Hindu Pillar, and mason’s marks on pillars... 

Plan of the Masjid Kutb ul Islam, or Kutb Masjid 
Map of Mathura 
Female statue from Mathura 
Asoka Inscription on Rock at Khalsi 
Maps of Madawar and Ivashipur 
Map of Ahichhatra 
View of Stupa and Ruins at Ahichhatra 
Map of Sankisa and Agahat Sarai 
Elephant Capital of Asoka Pillar at Sankisa 
MapofKanoj ... 

Map of Kosfimhi 
Map of Ajudhya 
Map of Sravasti 

Inscription at Dewal in Rohilkhand 










The study of Indian- antiquities received its first im- 
pulse from Sir William Jones, who in 1784 founded the 
Asiatic Society of Bengal. Amongst the first members were 
Warren Hastings, the ablest of our Indian rulers, and 
Charles Wilkins, who was the first Englishman to acquire 
a knowledge of Sanskrit, and who cut with his own hands 
the first Devanagari and Bengali types. During a residence 
of little more than ten years, Sir William Jones opened the 
treasury of Sanskrit literature to the world by the transla- 
tion of Sakuntala and the institutes of Manu. His annual 
discourses to the Society showed the wide grasp of his mind ; 
and the list of works which he drew up is so comprehensive 
that the whole of his scheme of translations has not even 
yet been completed by the separate labours of many suc- 
cessors. His first work was to establish a systematic and 
uniform system of orthography for the transcription of 
Oriental languages, which, with a very few modifications, has 
since been generally adopted. This was followed by several 
essays — On Musical Modes — On the Origin of the Game of 
Chess, which he traced to India — and On the Lunar Year of 
the Hindus and their Chronology. In the last paper he 
made the identification of Chandra-Gupta with Sandra- 
kottos, which for many years was the sole firm ground in 
the quicksands of Indian history. At the same time he 
suggested that Palibotlira, or Pataliputra, the capital of 
Sandrakottos, must be Patna, as he found that the Son 
River, which joins the Ganges only a few miles above Patna, 
was also named Hiranyabahu, or the “ golden-armed,” an 
appellation which at once re-called the Erranoboas of 

The early death of Jones in 1794, which seemed at first 
to threaten the prosperity of the newly established Society, 




was tlie immediate cause of bringing forward Colebrooke, 
so that the mantle of the elder was actually caught as it fell 
by the younger scholar, who, although he had not yet 
appeared as an author, volunteered to complete the Digest of 
Hindu Law, which was left unfinished by Jones. 

Charles Wilkins, indeed, had preceded him in the 
translation of several inscriptions in the first and second 
volumes of the Asiatic Researches, hut his communications 
then ceased, and on Jones’ death in 1794 the public looked 
to Davis, Wilford, and Colebrooke for the materials of the 
next volume. 

Samuel Davis had already written an excellent paper 
on Hindu astronomy, and a second on the Indian cycle of 
Jupiter; hut he had no leisure for Sanskrit studies, and his 
communications to the Asiatic Society now ceased alto- 

Francis Wilford, an officer of engineers, was of 
Swiss extraction. He was a good Classical and Sanskrit 
scholar, and his varied and extensive reading was success- 
fully brought into use for the illustration of ancient Indian 
geography. But his judgment was not equal to his 
learning ;* and his wild speculations on Egypt and on the 
Sacred Isles of the West, in the 3rd and 9th volumes of the 
Asiatic Researches, have dragged him down to a lower posi- 
tion than he is justly entitled to both by his abilities and 
his attainments. His “ Essay on the comparative Geogra- 
phy of India,” which was left unfinished at his death, and 
which was only published in 1851 at my earnest recom- 
mendation, is entirely free from the speculations of his 
earlier works, and is a living monument of the better judg- 
ment of his latter days. 

Henry Colebrooke was the worthy successor of Sir 
William Jones, and though his acquirements were, perhaps, 
not so varied as those of the brilliant founder of the Society, 
yet he possessed a scholarship equally accurate in both the 
Classical and Sanskrit languages. This soon ripened into a 
wide knowledge of Sanskrit literature, and his early 
mathematical bias and training, combined with a singularly 

* H. H. Wilson, in Ills Hindu Theatre, I., 9, calls Wilford a “ learned and laborious, 
but injudicious writer. 



sound judgment, gave him a more complete mastery over 
the whole range of Sanskrit learning, — its religion, its law 
and its philosophy, its language and its literature, its algebra 
and its astronomy, — than any other scholar has since acquired. 
All Colebrooke’s papers may he read both with interest and 

In the first year of this century he gave translations of 
Yisala Deva’s inscriptions on the Delhi pillar. These were 
followed by other translations in the 9th volume of the 
Researches in 1807, and in the 1st volume of the Royal 
Asiatic Society’s Translations in 1824, which exhibit the 
same critical scholarship and sound judgment. But a more 
valuable contribution is his “Essay on the Vedas,”* which 
first gave to the European world a full and accurate account 
of the sacred volumes of the Hindus. Other essays followed 
at intervals, — on the Sanskrit and Prakrit languages ; on 
the Philosophy of the Hindus ; on the Indian and Arabian 
divisions of the Zodiac ; on the notions of Hindu astro- 
nomers concerning the Precession ; and on the Algebra of 
Brahma Gupta and Bhaskara. The mere titles of these 
essays are sufficient to show the wide range of his studies. 
But the grasp is as firm as the range is wide, and these 
essays still remain our standard works on the subjects of 
which they treat. 

Colebrooke left India in 1815. Eor several years after 
his return to England he continued his studies and gave to 
the world some of the essays which have already been 
noticed. But his latter years were clouded by family 
bereavements and continued ill health, under which he at 
last sank on the 10th March 1837, in his 72nd year.f 

In the year 1800 Dr. Buchanan (who afterwards took 
the name of Hamilton) was deputed by the Marquis of 
Wellesley to make an agricultural survey of Mysore. This 
particular duty he performed with much ability ; but the 
value of his work is greatly increased by several interesting 
notices which he has given of the antiquities of the country, 
and of the various races of people in Southern India. The 
best acknowledgment of the value of this work was the 

# Asiatic Researches, Vol. IX. 

t The main facts of this brief sketch are taken from a deeply interesting and instructive 
memoir written by his son. — See Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. V, 



appointment of Buchanan, in 1807, by the Court of Direc- 
tors, to make a statistical survey of the Bengal Presidency. 

Por seven years Buchanan pursued his survey through 
the provinces of Bihar, Shahabad, Bhagalpur, Gorakhpur, 
Dinajpur, Puraniya, Rangpur, and Assam, when his labours 
were unfortunately brought to an abrupt close. The results 
of the survey were transmitted to England in 1816, where 
they remained unnoticed until 1838, when Mr. Montgomery 
Martin “ obtained permission to examine the manuscripts, 
which eventually led to their publication.” To him we 
certainly owe the publication of this valuable work ; but I 
must confess that the warmth of my gratitude for this 
welcome service is absolutely frozen by the coolness of 
appropriation displayed on the title-page, where the name 
of Buchanan is entirely omitted, and the districts of Eastern 
India are stated to have been “ surveyed under the orders 
of the Supreme Government, and collated from the original 
documents at the East India Office by Montgomery Martin.” 
This singular proceeding has not escaped the notice of 
M. Vivien de St. Martin, who remarks that the three volumes 
had been published “ sans y mettre le nom de M. Buchanan.” 
It is, how r ever, but fair to say that full credit is given to 
Buchanan in the introduction, and that the work appears to 
be satisfactorily edited. 

Although the instructions given to Buchanan included 
neither the history nor the antiquities of the country, yet 
both were diligently explored by him ; and when, after a 
lapse of upwards of twenty years, a great mass of the matter 
collected by the survey was found to have become useless, 
the value of the traditional or recorded history, and of the 
monuments and relics of antiquity, remained unchanged. 
All this part of the work has been published by the editor 
with a fair proportion of plates, from which v T e learn that 
Buchanan was amongst the first to perceive the value and 
importance of detailed plans and exact measurements of 
remarkable buildings and ancient sites. His notices of the 
Buddhist remains at Gaya and Baragaon in Bihar, of Kasia 
and Kahaon in Gorakhpur, and at many other places, are 
not less creditable to him because, through delay in the 
publication of his work, they were partly anticipated by 
James Prinsep. His historical and archaeological researches 
in the districts of Eastern India are specially valuable for 



tlieir sound judgment and conscientious accuracy. I have 
myself visited many of the places described by Buchanan, 
and I can vouch for the meritorious minuteness and strict 
correctness of his descriptions. 

The Indian mantle of Jones, which Colebrooke had 
worn so worthily for twenty years, was not destined to remain 
without a claimant. Before Colebrooke left India in 1815 
Horace Hayman Wilson had become Secretary of the 
Asiatic Society, and had published his translation of the 
Megha-duta, or “ cloud-messenger” of Kalidasa. This was 
followed in 1819 by his Sanskrit Dictionary, a work of 
great labour and merit, and in 1827 by his Hindu Theatre, 
which opened to the European world a novel and interest- 
ing variety of the dramatic art. At the same time be con- 
tributed many valuable papers to the Quarterly Oriental 
Magazine, amongst which his translations of stories from 
Sanskrit and of some episodes from the Mahabharata, are 
perhaps the most pleasing, and his review of the first fifteen 
volumes of the Asiatic Researches the most important. In 
1825 he published an essay on the Hindu history of Kashmir, 
which gives a clear and very interesting account of the 
early history of the famous valley. 

In the beginning of 1833 Wilson returned to England, 
where he continued his Oriental studies with unabated ardour. 
The two principal works of his English career were an 
account of the coins and antiquities of Afghanistan, contain- 
ed in “Ariana Antiqua,” and his translation of the Rig- 
Veda. The geographical portion of Ariana Antiqua, under 
the head of “ Early Notices of Ariana,” is full and valuable ; 
hut his account of Masson’s collection of coins makes no 
advance in Indian numismatics, beyond the point which 
Prinsep had reached at the time of his death. Indeed, 
Wilson’s archaeological writings have added little, if anything, 
to his reputation. His fame rests on his Sanskrit scholar- 
ship, and on the many valuable works, both original and 
translated, which he gave to the world during bis long and 
brilliant career. To the general public, his most popular 
work is undoubtedly the Hindu Theatre, in which his true 
poetic taste and feeling enabled him to do full justice to the 
masterpieces of the Indian drama. This work has just been 
re-printed, and it is not likely to be soon superseded by any 
future scholar, as the different qualities required to produce 



an adequate poetic translation are very rarely combined in 
one person as they were in Horace Hayman Wilson. 

In Western India the Kanliari Caves in the Island of 
Salset were described and illustrated by Salt as early as 1806, 
although his account was not published until 1819 in the 
1st volume of the Bombay Transactions. In the same 
volume appeared Erskine’s admirable account of the 
elephanta caves, which, however, was written as early as 1813. 
Like Buchanan in Bengal, Erskine anticipated the period 
when vague and glowing accounts would give place to 
accurate descriptions and detailed plans. His essay on the 
Elephanta Caves has been corrected in a few points by suc- 
ceeding observers ; but it is still the best account that we 
possess of those interesting Brahmanical excavations.* 

In the 3rd volume of the same transactions, Colonel 
Sykes gave the first description of the Muhammadan city of 
Bijapur, which has since been amply illustrated by the 
drawings of Hurt and Cumming, and the photographs of 
Loch, with text by Meadows Taylor and James Eergusson. 
To Colonel Sykes also belongs the credit of a good account 
of Ellora, which had been previously illustrated by the 
drawings of Wales engraved by the Eaniells. 

The earliest illustrations of Southern India we owe to 
Thomas Eaniell, who, at the close of the last century, visited 
Madras and made several admirable drawings of the seven 
pagodas at Mahamallaipur, which are not surpassed by the 
best photographs. About the same time Colonel Colin 
Mackenzie began his antiquarian career in the South, which 
his successive positions in the Survey Department enabled 
him to extend successfully over the greater part of the 
peninsula. His collection of manuscripts and inscriptions is 
unrivalled for its extent and importance. t His drawings of 
antiquities fill ten folio volumes ; and to this collection 
Mr. Eergusson was indebted for several of the most 

* A new description of the cave temples and other antiquities of Elephanta is 
shortly about to be published by Mr. J. Burgess, illustrated with plans and other drawings, 
besides thirteen photographs. As Mr. Burgess has already proved himself a most competent 
describer of Indian antiquities by his two previous works, — “ The Temples of Kathiawar,” 
illustrated by forty-one photographs, and the “Temples of Satrunjaya,” illustrated by forty- 
five photographs, his new work on Elephanta will, no doubt, be a most valuable and welcome 
addition to the library of Indian Archaeology. 

+ See Taylor’s Catalogue of the Oriental Collection of the Library of the College of 
Fort St, George, 3 Vols., thick, 8vo. 



valuable illustrations of bis “ tree and serpent worship.” 
Colin Mackenzie was an ardent and successful collector 
of archaeological materials, hut he was not an archaeo- 
logist. He could dig up and make drawings of the splendid 
sculptures at Dharanikotta, but he could neither 
restore the building, nor translate the inscriptions. But, 
although not a writer himself, the splendid collection of 
antiquities which he left behind him has been the cause of 
writing in others. To his drawings we partly owe Pergus- 
son’s “ tree and serpent worship,” and to his collection of 
manuscripts and inscriptions we are indebted for the greater 
part of what we at present know of the early history of the 
southern portion of the peninsula.* 

When Horace Wilson left India in 1833 the mantle of 
Sanskrit scholarship fell to Hr. Mill, whose acquaintance 
with the sacred language of India is acknowledged to have 
been as profound and as critical as that of his three great 
predecessors. To him we owe the translation of several 
important inscriptions ; and his early departure from India, 
in the end of 1837, was looked forward to by James Prinsep 
as a loss that was not likely to be soon supplied. 

But a new era now dawned on Indian archaeology, and 
the thick crust of oblivion, which for so many centuries had 
covered and concealed the characters and language 
of the earliest Indian inscriptions, and which the most 
learned scholars had in vain tried to penetrate, was removed 
at once and for ever by the penetrating sagacity and intui- 
tive perception of James Prinsep. During a great part of 
the years 1836 and 1837, the most active period of his career, 
I was in almost daily intercourse with him. With our 
mutual tastes and pursuits this soon ripened into the most 
intimate friendship. I thus had the privilege of sharing 
in all his discoveries during their progress. The matured 
results will be found in the pages of the Bengal Asiatic 
Society’s Journal; but the germs of his discoveries are 
related in his letters to me, sometimes almost in the same 
words as he afterwards made use of in the journal, but 
generally in the more familiar language of friendly corre- 

* See Professor Dowson’s account of the Southern Kingdoms in the Royal Asiatic 
Society’s Journal, VIII., 1 ; and H. H. Wilson’s Historical Sketch of the Kingdom of 
Pandya in the Royal Asiatic Society’s Journal, III., pp. 199 & 387. 



Prinsep’ s first great work was tlie partial decipherment 
of the Arian Pali legends of the Bactrian Greek coins, and 
his last and most important achievement was the decipher- 
ment of the Indian Pali legends of the coins of Surashtra, 
and the consequent decipherment and translation of the 
still earlier edicts of Asoka on the pillars at Delhi and 
Allahabad. In both of these achievements the first step 
towards discovery was made by others, and this was most 
freely and fully acknowledged by Prinsep himself. Regard- 
ing the decipherment of the Arian Pali alphabet, he says — 
“ Mr. Masson first pointed out in a note addressed to myself 
through the late Dr. Gerard, the Pehlvi signs which he had 
found to stand for the words Menandrou, A'pollodotou , 
Ermaiou , Basileos, and Soteros. When a supply of coins 
came into my hands, sufficiently legible to pursue the 
enquiry, I soon verified the accuracy of his observation, 
found the same signs with slight variation constantly to 
recur, and extended the series of words thus authenticated 
to the names of twelve kings, and to six titles or epithets. 
It immediately struck me that if the genuine Greek names 
were faithfully expressed in the unknown character, a clue 
would through them be formed to unravel the value of a 
portion of the alphabet, which might in its turn be applied 
to the translated epithets and titles, and thus lead to a 
knowledge of the language employed. Incompetent as I 
felt myself to this investigation, it was too seductive not to 
lead me to a humble attempt at its solution.”* 

The clue pointed out by Masson was eagerly followed 
up by Prinsep, who successfully recognized no less than 
sixteen, or just one-half of the thirty-three consonants of 
the Arian alphabet. He discovered also three out of the 
five initial vowels, and two of the medials, or just one-half 
of the vowels. Here his progress was unfortunately stopped 
by sudden illness; and he was soon after cut off in the very 
midst of his brilliant discoveries leaving the task to be slowly 
completed by others. 

In the May number of his journal for 1837, f Prinsep 
published his readings of the legends on the small silver coins 
of Surashtra. In this case he has also given a brief notice 

* Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1S35, p 329. 
f Published in June 1837. 



of the steps which led to the discovery ; hut as his letters to 
me convey a much more vivid and lively account of the 
untiring perseverance which secured his success, I will 
give a connected version of the discovery in his own spirited 
language by extracts from his letters : 

lltli May 1837. — “ Here are two plates addressed to me 
by Harkness on the part of J. It. Steuart, quarto engravings 
of 28 Saurashtra coins, all Chaitya reverses, and very legible 
inscriptions, which are done in large on the next plate. Oh ! 
but we must decipher them ! I’ll warrant they have not 
touched them at home yet. Here to amuse you try your 
hand on this” (here follows a copy of three of the coin 
legends, with the letters forming the words Rajnah and 
Kshatrapasa, each of which occurs twice, marked, respec- 
tively, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, shewing that he had begun to analyze 
them the same day). 

IWi May, 7 o'clock, a. m. — “ You may save yourself 
any further trouble. I have made them all out this very 
moment on first inspection. Take a few examples (here 
follow both the original legends and the Nagari renderings j 

1 to 4 — Raja Krittamasa Rudra Sahasa Swami Jahatama 


5 to 8 — j Raja Krittamasya Sagadamta Raja Rudra Sahasa 


And thus every one of them gives the name of his father of 
blessed memory, and we have a train of some eight or ten 
names to rival the Guptas !! Hurra ! I hope the chaps at 
home wont seize the prize first. No fear of Wilson at any 
rate ! I must make out a plate of the names on ours added 
to Steuart’s, and give it immediate insertion. It is marvel- 
lously curious that, like the modern Sindhi and Multani, 
all the matras, or vowels, are omitted, and the Sanskrit 
terminations sya, &c., pali or vernacularized. This confirms 
the reading which I had printed only a day or two ago, 
Vijaya Mitasa for Mitrasya , of Mithra, identifying him and 
the devise with our Okpo bull coin ! Bravo, we shall 
unravel it yet.” 

Here we see that, although he had mastered the greater 
part of these legends almost at first sight, yet the readings 




of some of the names were still doubtful. But two days 
later he writes as follows : 

Sunday (postmark, May 14, 1837). — “Look into your 
cabinet and see what names you have of the Saurashtra 
series. Steuart’s list is as follows : 

Bajas Rudra Sah, son of Swdmi Jcinadama. 

„ Atri Rcimd „ Rudra Sah. 

& c., &c. 

“The Sanskrit on these coins is beautiful, being in the 
genitive case after the Greek fashion. We have Rajnya for 
Raja , Atri-Ramnah for A tri-Rama, Vira-Rdmnah for Vira- 
Rdma, Viswa Sdhdsya for Viswa Saha, which are all con- 
firmed by the real name losing the genitive affix when 
joined to putrasya. 

“ I have made progress in reading the Peacock Saurasli- 
trans — 

Sri bama saga deva jayati 

• Jcramaditya paramesa. 

“ Chulao bhai, juldee puhonchoge ! ”* 

In these lively letters we see that the whole process of 
discovery occupied only three days, from the first receipt of 
Steuart’s plates to the complete reading of all the legends. 
Nothing can better show the enthusiastic ardour and un- 
wearying perseverance with which he followed up this new 
pursuit than these interesting records of the daily progress 
of his discoveries. When I recollect that I was then only 
a young lad of twenty-three years age, I feel as much wonder 
as pride that James Prinsep should have thought me worthy 
of being made the confidant of all his great discoveries. 

But the decipherment of the legends on the Saurashtran 
coins was but the precursor of a still more important dis- 
covery. Success only seemed to inspire James Prinsep with 
fresh ardour. No difficulty daunted his enthusiasm, and no 
labour tired his perseverance. Only a few years previously 
he had analyzed the characters of Samudra Gupta’s inscrip- 
tion on the Allahabad pillar, and had distinguished the 

* This is the common exclamation of palki bearers to encourage one another — “ Go on 
brother, we shall soon get there 1 ” 



attached vowels, «, e , i , and u; but the long £he mistook 
for o. At that time he had despaired of reading these old 
inscriptions,* from “ want of a competent knowledge of the 
Sanskrit language.” But his present success stimulated 
him to renew his former attempt. Fortunately just at this 
time he received a number of short inscriptions from the 
great stupa at S&nchi near Bhilsa. These he read almost 
at a glance with the exception of two or three letters, which, 
however, soon yielded to his perseverance. He then pro- 
ceeded to examine the inscriptions on the Delhi pillar, and 
at once read the opening sentence without any difficulty or 

Prinsep’s final readings of the Saurashtran coin legends 
was announced to me on the 14th May, and this later dis- 
covery of the still older inscriptions of the Sanchi Stupa 
and Delhi pillar was completed before breakfast on 23rd 
May, or only nine days later. His formal account of the 
discovery is given in the journal; f but his brief announce- 
ment to me is very interesting, as it shows that he had at 
once determined to attempt the translation of the whole of 
Asoka’s edicts. I give this letter entire. 

23 rd May 1837. — “ My dear Cunningham, — Hors du 
departement de mes etudes Sultan Adil, &c. No, but I 
can read the Delhi No. 1, which is of more importance, 
the Bhilsa inscriptions have enlightened me. Each line 
is engraved on a separate pillar or dhioaja. Then, thought 
I, they must be gifts of private individuals, whose names 
will be recorded. All end in ddnam — that must mean * gift, 
or given,’ ddnam — genitive must be prefixed. Let’s see. 

Isa-palitasa-cha Samanasa-cha ddnam. 

“ The gift of Isa-Palita (protected of God) and of 

Sdmanerasa Aheyakasa Sethinon ddnam 

“ The gift of Samanera and Abeyaka Sethi. 

* See Journal of Bengal Asiatic Society, 1834, p, 117, and compare 1837, p. 452. 

+ In Bengal Asiatic Seciety’s Journal, 1837, p. 460. 

£ This was an expression by the famous French academician, Baoul Rochette, regarding 
the Arian legends of the Bactrian coins. It tickled Prinsep’s fancy particularly ; and he 
was frequently quoting it. In the present instance I had sent him a Muhammadan coin and 
asked if he could read it. Instead of saying no, he quoted Raoul Rochette, 



Ruddha-palitasa lichhunon dunam. 

“ The gift of the protected of Buddha, the Lichhun&n.* 

Vijigatasa danam. 

“ Eh ? will not this do ? and the pillar inscription 

Devdnam jpiya piyadasi Raja hevam ahd. 

“ The most particularly-beloved-of-the-gods Baja de- 
clareth thus. 

“ I think with Batna Pala, whom I shall summon, we 
shall he able to read the whole of these manifestoes of the 
right faith — Buddha’s bulls. Will send plates after breakfast. 

“ Yours, 

" J. P. ” 

The formal announcement of this discovery was made in 
the June number of the journal which was published in July, 
by which Prinsep had recognized the true values of all the 
letters which he had yet found, and the old alphabet was 
complete with the exception of the very rare letters gh and 
jli, and the gutteral, palatal, and cerebral n’s. 

To Professor Lassen belongs the honor of having been 
the first to read any of these unknown characters. In the 
previous year, 1836, he had read the Indian Pali legend on 
the square copper coins of Agathokles as Agathukla Raja . f 
James Prinsep was puzzled by findiDg “that nearly the same 
characters appear on the coins of Pantaleon.” He admit- 
ted, however, that “ it might be possible to assimilate the word 
to the Greek on the supposition of the first syllable being 
wanting,” thus forming talava. On referring to the coin 
indicated I find that the first letter is actually wanting, and 
that he had read the three letters of the name correctly. 
So near was he to making the discovery at that time that it 
would probably have been completed at once had there been 
a perfect coin of Pantaleon to refer to for the first letter of 
the name. 

* This word should be Bhichhuno, the mendicant monk, but Prinsep had not then 
recognised the true form of the bh. He took l for bh, and when he came to the true l in 
laja, he read the word as Raja, as in the next instance which he gives from the Delhi 

+ In a letter to James Prinsep referred to in the Journal of Bengal Asiatic Society, 
1836, p. 723. 



As mentioned in his letter to me, Prinsep had at once 
invited Ratna Pala, the Pali scholar, to assist him in reading 
the inscription, and with his aid he was able to translate at 
once several important passages, such as, “ in the twenty- 
seventh year of my reign.” So unremitting was his industry 
and so rapid his intuitive perception, that he had finished his 
translation by the end of July, and the complete version 
appeared in the journal for that month, which was published 
in the middle of August. 

Coins and inscriptions now poured in upon him so fast 
from all parts of India that much of his valuable time was 
now occupied in private correspondence, and when I left 
Calcutta towards the end of October 1837, he was working 
from twelve to sixteen hours daily. Much of his time was, 
of course, occupied with his public duties as Assay Master of 
the Calcutta Mint, as he wrote to me, “ my whole day is 
consumed at the scales. What a waste of precious 
moments !” 

A few days after my departure he received copies of the 
Udayagiri and Khandagiri inscriptions from Kittoe, and 
faithful impressions of all the inscriptions on the Allahabad 
pillar from Colonel Smith. With all his wonted industry 
and enthusiasm he set to work upon these new records, and 
was able to give a revised translation of Samudra Gupta’s 
inscription in the November number of his journal, and a 
long and valuable note on the inscriptions from Udayagiri and 
Khandagiri in the December number. Yet, in spite of all 
these labours, so little conscious did he feel of exhaustion that 
he wrote to me on “ December 27th, 7 a. m., to get a new 
Gupta inscription for the January Number ! ! ” 

Prinsep now took up the rock-inscriptions of Asoka, 
and in a postscript to a letter of 12th February 1838, he said 
to me “ dont expect me to write again for a long spell. I 
must set to work on the Girnari.” But on the 3 rd March 
I heard from him again that he had “ made une decouverte 
epouvantable ! no less than the treaty (an article at least) 
between Antiochus and Sophagasenas. Shall I leave you to 
guess how, where, and when ? No, hut keep it secret till I an- 
nounce it at the Society. I have happily discovered that 
many of the edicts at Gujarat and Cuttack are verbatim the 
same. Among them is one announcing the establishment 



of a medical arrangement for men and animals.” This dis- 
covery was announced to the Asiatic Society on the 7th 
March, and published in the February number of the 

As Prinsep proceeded with his examination of the rock- 
inscriptions, he discovered the names of Ptolemy, Antigonus, 
and Magas, in addition to a second mention of Antiochus. 
He had previously felt the want of a good impression of the 
Girnar inscription, but this brilliant discovery made him 
still more anxious to obtain a complete and correct copy. 
After thinking over the matter for some time, it seemed that 
the surest and quickest way was to address the Governor 
General on the subject, which was accordingly done at once, 
as explained in the following letter to me : 

28 th March 1838. — “ In the enthusiasm of the moment 
I took up my pen and addressed the enclosed bold petition to 
Lord Auckland, which, on sober reflection, I am afraid of 
sending, lest I should be thought presumptuous in imagining 
others care as much about old inscriptions as I do ! I therefore 
enclose it to you instead that you may act upon it as you 
may find a fit occasion. The passage in the 14th edict is 
much mutilated, and I long for a more correct copy. * * 

It really becomes interesting to find Egypt and Ptolemy 
known to Asoka ! I must give you the real text” (here 
follows the text in the original Pali characters, which I 
give in italic letters with Prinsep’s interlinear transla- 
tion) : 

Yona raja 'par an clia tena Chaptaro 
Greek King furthermore by whom the Gypta Tulamayo cha Antigona clia Mag a cha, 
Kajas, Ptolemy and Antigonus and Magas and 

* * * savata Devdnampiyasa 

* * * everywhere beloved’s 

Dhammanusasti anuhatate yata pajati 
Keligious precept reaches where goes. 

Some doubt about the Ptdro rajano, or Chaptaro, which may 
be read chat ivaro rajano, ‘ the four kings Ptaro , the Pta 
or Ptlia (worshipping) kings, Guptaro, or Chaptaro, rajano , 
the ‘ Koptic or Aegyptic kings but the name of Magas is 
so distinct that I give up the four kings in favor of Egypt. 



ct I have no time to expatiate hereupon. I shall publish 
in the next journal, although probably I shall he forced to 
alter my Antiochus the Great theory to the contemporary 
Antiochus of Ptolemy Philadelphia (247 b. c.), in whose 
time Magas held part of Egypt (Cyrene), and whose period 
agrees better with Asoka’s reign. Hurrah for inscriptions ! ” 

Prinsep’s hold appeal to the head of the Government 
was of course successful, for Lord Auckland was a liberal 
patron of both literature and science. The Governor of Bombay 
was accordingly requested to depute a qualified officer for the 
purpose of taking & facsimile of the inscriptions.* The new 
impressions were made with great care, but they did not 
reach Calcutta until after Prinsep’s departure. I was not even 
aware that they had been sent to Calcutta until last January, 
when, looking for some of Kittoe’s inscriptions, I stumbled 
on the Girnar edicts of Asoka. 

In the meantime Prinsep continued his labours by pub- 
lishing a translation of the Junagarh inscription of Budra 
Hama in the April number of the journal; an “ examination 
of the separate edicts at Hhauli in Cuttack’’ in the May 
number ; translations of some additional short records from 
the Sanchi Stupa near Bhilsa in the June number; and the 
“ discovery of the Bactrian alphabet” in the July number ; 
which was published about the middle of August. These were 
his last contributions to the Journal of the Asiatic Society of 
Bengal. f 

After his revision of the Bactrian alphabet, he naturally 
turned to the inscriptions which Ventura and Court had ex- 
tracted from the stupas at Manikyala, and which Masson 
had obtained from the stupas of the Kabul Valley. His 
attention was also turned to the reading of the later coins 
“ which mark the decadence of Greek dominion and Greek 
skill. These are the most precious to the student of Indian 
history. Through their Xative legends we may yet hope to 
throw light on the obscure age of Vikramaditya and the 
Scythian successors of the Greeks on the north of India .” X 
So important did he consider this class of coins that he 

* See Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1S38, p. 365. 

t These different articles will be found in the Journal of the Bengal Asiatic Society for 
1838, pp. 364, 484, 562, & 636. 

X Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1831, p. 655, 



specially invited attention to them, and promised to return to 
their investigation, his text being “ those coins on which the 
Native and Greek legends differ, or record different names.” 

This subject still occupied his attention when he was 
overtaken by sickness and obliged to proceed to sea for 
change of air. He was “off Kedgeree” on the 28th Septem- 
ber 1838, when he wrote his last letter to me to acknowledge 
the receipt of the coins which I had selected from Sir 
Alexander Burnes’ new collection for his examination. He 
was disappointed at not finding any new names, and says 
“ I almost fear the field is exhausted ; my only hope is of 
new Spalahara types among the crowd of ‘frustes’ coins.” 
As the coins of Spalahara belong to the class “ on which 
the Native and Greek legends differ, this passage shows that 
down to the very last his thoughts were engaged on the com- 
pletion of the Bactrian alphabet, and the translation of the 
tope inscriptions. I also draw the same conclusion from 
another paragraph of the same letter where he says, “ I told 
you (did I not?) that Lassen had hit upon the exact key to 
the Bactrian alphabet I have made use of.” 

His trip to sea did him no good, as he wrote to me that 
he “ never was so idle, so listless, or so headachey in his 
life ; ” and after a long and amusing account of all the sur- 
rounding discomforts, he exclaims “ Oh ! the pleasures of 
running down to the Sandheads for a week to restore the 
health ! ” He longed “ to get home to his own desk” in 
Calcutta, where he hoped to find that Hr. McLeod had 
arrived safe, that is, with the mass of Burnes’ collection of 

On his return to Calcutta he gradually became worse 
and was obliged to leave India in the end of October. He 
was in a hopeless state when he reached England from soften- 
ing of the brain, and after lingering for about a year he sank 
on the 22nd of April 1840, at 40 years of age. Thus died 
James Prinsep in the very prime of life, and in the very 
midst of his brilliant discoveries. When we remember that 
he was only just thirty-nine years old when his career was 
suddenly arrested by illness, it is impossible to help regret- 
ting that he was not spared for a few years longer to com- 
plete and perfect what he had already done, and perhaps to 
add fresh laurels to his fame by further discoveries. But 



James Prinsep had done his work ; for all his brilliant dis- 
coveries, which would have been the labour of ten or a dozen 
years to most other men, were made during the last three 
years of his career ; and although he was still young in years, 
lie had already done the work of a good old age. The career 
of James Prinsep has been fitly and eloquently described by 
his friend Dr. Hugh Falconer, who knew him well. Prom 
this able sketch I extract the following appreciative notice 
of Prinsep’s rare talents : “ Of his intellectual character the 

most prominent feature was enthusiasm — one of the prime 
elements of genius ; a burning irrepressible enthusiasm, to 
which nothing could set bounds, and which communicated 
itself to whatever came before him. The very strength of 
his mental constitution in this respect was perhaps opposed 
to his attaining the excellence of a profound thinker ; it led 
him to be carried away frequently by first impressions, and 
to apply his powers to a greater range of subjects than any 
human mind can master or excel in. To this enthusiasm 
was fortunately united a habitude of order, and power of 
generalization, which enabled him to grasp and comprehend 
the greatest variety of details. His powers of perception 
were impressed with genius — they were clear, vigorous, 
and instantaneous.”* 

Dr. Falconer formed a true and just estimate of Prin- 
sep’s powers of perception, which were equally remarkable 
for their vigour and their instgditaneousness. The quickness 
of his perception was indeed wonderful, so that many of his 
discoveries may be said literally to have flashed upon him ; or, 
as he himself describes one of them in a letter to me, “ like 
inspiration, or lightning, or Louisa’s eyes, the light at once 
broke upon me.”t But the great point in Prinsep’s character 
f was his ardent enthusiasm, which charmed and melted all who 
came in contact with him. Even at this distance of time, 
when a whole generation has passed away, I feel that his 
letters still possess the same power of winning my warmest 
sympathy in all his discoveries, and that his joyous and 
generous disposition still communicates the same contagious 
enthusiasm and the same strong desire to assist in further 

* Extracted from the Colonial Magazine for December 1840, by Mr. E. Thomasin his 
edition of Prinsep’s “ Essays on Indian Antiquities,” 

+ Letter of 27tli January 1838. The name of Louisa is written in Asoka characters as 



The powerful impulse given to Indian archaeology hy 
James Prinsep was produced quite as much by the enthu- 
siasm which he kindled in every one who came in contact 
with him, as by his translations of the old inscriptions of 
Asoka, which gave life to records that had been dead for 
more than two thousand years, and that now form our 
chief land-marks in ancient Indian history. The impulse 
was not lost after his death ; but the progress of research, 
which during his life-time had been conducted as one great 
voyage of discovery under his sole command, has since 
been limited to lesser expeditions in various directions. As 
these were led by many different persons, each acting inde- 
pendently, the amount of progress may, perhaps, seem com- 
paratively little, whereas it has been really great, and only 
seems little because the work actually done lias been very 
gradually achieved and has never yet been summed up and 
gathered together. 

Of James Prinsep’s successors during the last thirty 
years, the most prominent have been James Pergusson, 
Markham Kittoe, Mr. Edward Thomas, and myself, in 
Northern India ; Sir Walter Elliot in Southern India; and 
Colonel Meadows Taylor, Dr. Stevenson, and Dr. Bhau D&ji 
in Western India. 

Erom the foundation of the Asiatic Society by Sir 
William Jones in 1784 down to 1834, a period of just half a 
century, our archaeological researches had been chiefly liter- 
ary, and, with a few notable exceptions, had been confined to 
translations of books and inscriptions, with brief notices of 
some of the principal buildings at Delhi and Agra and other 
well known places. The exceptions are several valuable 
essays by Jones, Wilford,* Colebrooke, and Wilson, on the 
religion, the geography and the astronomy of the Hindus, 
which have already been noticed. These early labourers 
may be called the Closet or Scholastic Archaeologists. The tra- 
vellers of their day gave glowing accounts of the wonders 
of Ellora, of the massive grandeur of the Kutb Minar, and 
of the matchless beauty of the Taj Mahal at Agra. But all 
was vague and indefinite. There were but few measurements 
and no plans. True history was then but little known, and 

* I consider VVilford’s essays valuable in spite of their wild speculations, as they con- 
tain much information and undigested learning, in which important facts and curious 
classical references will be found imbedded in a mass of crude speculation. 



the lying gabble of Brahmans, which connected every place 
with the wanderings of Kama or the exile of the fivePandus, 
was accepted as the real voice of genuine tradition. 

But a new era opened for Indian archaeology in 1834, 
when James Prinsep gave to the world the first results of 
Masson’s researches in the Kabul valley, and of Ventura’s 
and Court’s explorations in the Panjab, followed immediately 
by my own excavation of the stupa at Sarnath, Banaras, 
and of the ruins around it. Pacts now poured in rapidly, 
but though many in number, they were still bare and uncon- 
nected facts, mere fossil fragments of the great skeleton of 
lost Indian history. The full skeleton has not yet been set 
up; but many of its members are now almost complete, and 
we have acquired a very fair knowledge of the general out- 
line and of the various forms which it has assumed at dif- 
ferent periods. Por this result we are much indebted to 
men who are not Sanskrit scholars, and whose success has 
been achieved by actual measurements and laborious explo- 
rations in the field, combined with patient research and 
studious investigation in the closet. During James Prinsep’s 
life-time, the materials collected by these “ field archaeolo- 
gists,” or “travelling antiquarians” as he called them, 
were all made over to him, but since his death, each observer 
has worked independently in his own line, and has published 
separately the results of his own labours. 

Amongst the foremost and most successful of the later 
archaeologists is my friend James Pergusson, whose masterly 
works on Indian architecture are the result of extensive 
travels through a great part of India, undertaken for the 
express purpose of studying this important and interesting 
subject. It is entirely his own, and I trust that he may 
shortly be able to fulfil his long-cherished project of publish- 
ing an illustrated history of Indian architecture, such as 
he only can give us. 

Mr. Pergusson’s first publication was an account of the 
“ rock-cut temples of India, 1845, in which he gives a detailed 
account of all the groups of caves that were then known, 
and endeavours to fix their approximate dates by differences 
of style and other distinctive characteristics. This rule is 
rigorously true in principle ; but to make its results of any 
value, it is absolutely necessary that we should have at least 



a few fixed stand-points of known dates for comparison. 
Thus we may he quite certain that any temple B is an im- 
provement on A, and is less advanced than C ; and we con- 
clude accordingly that it i^ of intermediate age between A 
C. But if the dates of A and C are both unknown, our 
deduction is comparatively of little value ; and even 
if we should know the date of C, any deduction as to the 
date of B will be liable to at least half the amount 
of error in the assumed date of A. No one is more fully 
aware of this than Mr. Eergusson himself, as he admits that 
his conclusions “ have been arrived at almost entirely from a 
critical survey of the whole series, and a careful comparison 
of one cave with another, and with the different structural 
buildings in their neighbourhood, the dates of which are at 
least approximately known.”* But I think that he is in- 
clined to overrate the value of these critical deductions, 
when he says that “ inscriptions will not certainly by them- 
selves answer the purpose and he gives in proof of this 
assumption the fact that there is a comparatively modern 
inscription in the Ganes Gumpha Cave at Udayagiri. But 
what proof have we that many of the caves were not origi- 
nally quite plain like those of Barabar, and that the orna- 
mentation is not the work of a much later age ? I differ 
from Mr. Eergusson on this point, as I consider that inscrip- 
tions are, beyond all doubt, the most certain and the most 
trustworthy authority for determining the dates of Indian 
monuments, whether buildings or caves. I freely admit the 
corroborative value of architectural evidence when it is 
founded on ascertained dates ; but when it is unsupported 
by inscriptions, I look upon it, in the present state of our 
knowledge, as always more or less uncertain, and, therefore, 

The best proof which I can give of the weakness of 
Mr. Bergusson’s argument, in the present state of our know- 
ledge, is to quote the dates which he has deduced for the 
well-known caves of Kanliari in Salset, which he assigns 
as follows : “ Birst those in the ravine in the fourth or fifth 
century, those last described, with those on each side of the 
great cave, probably at least a century later ; then the great 
eave.”f Now the inscriptions in the Kanliari caves are very 

* Rock-cut Temples of India, p. 2. 
+ Rock-cut Temples of India, p. 39. 



numerous ; and though there are a few mediaeval records, yet 
any evidence of late date which they might he supposed to 
afford is utterly annihilated hy the presence in the same 
caves of much older inscriptions of the same style and 
character as the mass of the Kanhari records, which are cer- 
tainly not later than the Gupta inscriptions of Northern 
India. In fact, one of them gives the date of 30 of the SaJca- 
ditya-Mla, or A. D. 108. I have copied part of the inscrip- 
tion in the great cave with my own hand, and, after com- 
paring my copy with that of Mr. "West, I can see no dif- 
ference of age between the characters used in the great 
cave and those in the other caves. I therefore refer the 
great mass of the Kanhari inscriptions to the first and second 
centuries of the Christian era, so that there is a difference 
of at least four centuries between Mr. Fergusson’s mean 
date and mine. 

The Karle caves Mr. Fergusson is inclined to assign 
to the first, or even the second century before Christ.* One 
of the caves is certainly older than the Christian era, as it 
possesses an inscription of the great Satrap King Nahapana.f 
But there are two others of King Pudumayi, the son of 
Yasithi, whom I place in the beginning of the second century 
of the Christian era, hut whom Mr. Fergusson assigns to the 
middle of the fourth century, although in his chronology 
he admits that Ananda, also a son of Yasithi, and therefore 
most probably a brother of Pudumayi, and the founder of one 
of the gateways of the Great Sanchi Tope, lived towards the 
end of the first century. 

I have entered thus fully into the question of the dates 
of the Western Caves, partly lest my silence should be 
looked upon as acquiescence in Mr. Fergusson’s conclu- 
sions, l and partly out of deference to his deservedly high 
name and well-earned reputation as an earnest and able 
enquirer into Indian History and Archaeology. Mr. Fer- 
gusson is well aware that I differ from him on many points 

* Rock-cut Temples of India, pp. 30-34. 

f Journal, Bombay Asiatic Society, V. ; Karli Inscription No. 5, for Nahapana ; and 
Nos. 4 and 18 for Pudumayi. 

I This, indeed, has already happened, as Mr. C. R. Markham, in his Memoir on the 
Archaeological Survey, p, 181, concludes that Mr. Fergusson’s Rock-cut Temples of India 
“ may be considered as having placed the theory of the age and uses of those monuments 
on a, basis of certainty, xchich has never since been called in question.” 



of early Indian chronology ; and 1 believe that by thus pub- 
licly stating my views on these points, we shall the sooner 
arrive at the truth, as probably others will now he led to 
think upon the subject, wffio would otherwise perhaps have 
passed it entirely over as a matter that was undisputed, and 
therefore finally settled. 

In his next work, entitled “ Picturesque Illustrations 
of Ancient Architecture in India,” Mr. Fergusson makes 
use of the same principles of characteristic differences and 
similarities of style to fix the dates of the mediaeval temples 
of the Brahmans and Jains. Here I agree with him 
throughout ; for the process of deduction is now perfectly 
trustworthy, being founded on actual dates, as there is a 
sufficient number of structural temples of the Jains and 
Brahmans of known age to furnish us with data for deter- 
mining very closely the ages of uninscribed buildings. This 
is specially noteworthy in the case of the rock-cut Brah- 
manical temples of Dhamnar, which, from their general 
style, Mr. Fergusson has assigned to the eighth or ninth cen- 
tury,* a date which must be very close to the truth, as I 
found a statue in one of the smaller temples inscribed with 
characters which certainly belong to that period. The 
examples of Indian architecture given by Mr. Fergusson 
in this work are very fine and choice, especially the rich 
temple at Chandravati, which I have seen, and wffiich I 
agree with him in thinking “ the most elegant specimen of 
columnar architecture in Upper India.” 

In his “Handbook of Architecture (1855) he has given 
a classification of all the different Indian styles, both Hindu 
and Muhammadan, which is considerably enlarged and 
improved in his later work, the “ History of Architecture” 
(1867). In the latter we have the matured result of a 
long and critical study of the subject. The classification 
is complete and comprehensive, and though perhaps excep- 
tion may be taken to one or tw r o of the names, yet it is 
difficult to find others that w r ould be better. The limited 
space at his command has obliged him to treat each different 
style very briefly, hut the distinctions are so broadly and 
clearly defined in the typical examples selected for illustra- 
tion, that I cannot help feeling impatient for the appearance 

* Rock.cut Temples of India, p. 44. 



of liis great work, the “ Illustrated History of Indian Archi- 
tecture,” which he originally projected more than a quarter 
of a century ago, and for which, during the whole of that 
time, he has been assiduously collecting materials. 

Mr. Pergusson’s last work, named “Tree and Serpent 
Worship” is the most sumptuously illustrated work on 
Indian antiquities that has yet been published. In it he 
gives a description of the two richly-sculptured Stupas of 
Sanchi and Amaravati, with a profusion of excellent illustra- 
tions from Colonel Maisey’s accurate drawings and Captain 
Waterhouse’s photographs of the former, and from Colonel 
Mackenzie’s drawings, and the actual bas-reliefs of the latter 
which are now in London. Mr. Pergusson has accepted my 
dates for the Sanchi Tope and its gateways, namely, B. C. 
250, during the reign of Asoka for the former, and the first 
century A. D. for the latter ; but the Amaravati Tope he 
places three hundred years later, in the first half of the 
fourth century A. D. I understand that he has been 
led to adopt this difference of age chiefly on account of the 
difference of style which he has observed in the sculptures of 
the two monuments. I must confess that this great dif- 
ference of style is not palpable to me. On the contrary, from 
the similar dress of the men, and the similar general naked- 
ness of the women, save only the peculiar belt of five rows 
of beads, the sculptures of the two monuments appear to me 
to he of much the same age. I draw the same conclusion 
also from the inscriptions which are undoubtedly of the 
same age as those of the caves of Kanliari and of the Sanchi 
Tope Gateways. As I have already pointed out, there are 
in the Kanliari caves two inscriptions of Pudumayi, the son 
of Vasithi, in exactly the same characters as those of Ananda, 
the son of Vasithi, on the south gateway of the Sanchi 
Tope. I conclude, therefore, with some certainty, that Pudu- 
mayi and Ananda were brothers ; and consequently I refer 
all the inscriptions of the King Gotamiputra Satakarni and 
his successors Pudumayi and Yadnya Sri to the first and 
second centuries A. D. As by far the greater number of the 
Amaravati inscriptions are in exactly the same characters, it 
seems almost certain that they must belong to the same period. 
This conclusion is strengthened by the fact that Buddhist 
coins of all these three Princes have been found at Amara- 
vati, with types and inscriptions which range them as 



contemporaries of the Satrap Chiefs of Surashtra. Mr. Fer- 
gusson has adopted the statement of the Puranas, that the 
Andhras ruled over Magadha in succession to the Kanwas ; 
but this position is quite untenable, as we know from Pliny 
that at this very time the Prasii, that is the people of Pala- 
saka or Magadha, were dominant on the Ganges, and 
possessed an army six times greater than that of the Andarae 

With respect to the title of this last work of Mr. Fer- 
gusson, — “Tree and Serpent Worship,” — I submit that it is 
not borne out by the illustrations ; and further, that, as 
serpent-worship was antagonistic to Buddhism, such a title 
is not applicable to a description of the religious scenes 
sculptured on a Buddhist Stupa. I can perceive no serpent- 
worship in these illustrations. On the contrary, I find that 
the Nftgas are generally doing homage to Buddha, in perfect 
accordance with all the Buddhist legends, which invariably 
represent the Nagas as at first the bitter enemies of Buddha. 
Afterwards, when converted by his preaching, they became 
his staunchest adherents, and are specially stated to have 
formed canopies over his head with their hoods to protect 
him from the sun and rain. The presence of Nagas in the 
Amaravati sculptures is only natural, as the king of the 
country and his subjects are described in all the legends as 
Nagas. In the sculptures, therefore, the king and his 
women are generally represented with serpent hoods ; but, 
as far as I have observed, they are invariably the worshippers 
of Buddha, and not the objects of worship. 

On these two points I am sorry to be obliged to differ 
from Mr. Fergusson. But neither of them affects the main 
purpose of the work, which is devoted to the illustration and 
restoration of the Amaravati Tope. This work he has done 
most thoroughly, and I accept his restoration as almost 

Markham Kittoe was already known for his architec- 
tural taste by his design for the little church at Jonpur, and 
his drawings of Muhammadan buildings, when, towards the 
close of 1836, the march of his regiment from the Upper 
Provinces to Medinipur brought him through Calcutta, 

* James Prinsep saw that these Successive dynasties of the Puranas must have been 
parallel or contemporary.— -Journal, Bengal Asiatic Society, 1838, p. 317, 



where he first saw James Prinsep. He was then engaged 
in the preparation of a work, which apppeared in 1838, 
under the title of “ Illustrations of Indian Architecture.” 
The work was chiefly valuable for its illustrations, of which 
many have now been superseded by photographs. Kittoe’s 
antiquarian zeal and architectural knowledge were strong 
recommendations to James Prinsep, who induced him to pay 
a visit to the Khandagiri rock to examine the inscription in 
old Pali characters, of which Stirling had published a poor 
and imperfect copy in the Asiatic Researches. The result 
was an excellent copy of a very important inscription of 
King Aira, and the discovery of one of Asoka’s edicts at 
Dhauli, with sketches of the more important caves and prin- 
cipal sculptures. 

Kittoe’s services were warmly acknowledged by James 
Prinsep in the Journal of the Asiatic Society, and also in a 
letter to me of 4th November 1837, in which he mentions 
“a beautifully illustrated journal from poor Kittoe,” and 
begs me to “ keep an eye to his interests, for he would he 
an invaluable antiquarian traveller.” At this time Kittoe 
was temporarily removed from the army for bringing indis- 
creet charges of oppression against his Commanding Officer, 
for which there was hut little foundation save in his own 
over-sensitive disposition. Through Prinsep’s influence he 
was appointed Secretary of the Coal Committee, which led 
to his extended tour through Orissa, the results of which 
were published in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal for 
1838 and 1839. He was afterwards restored to his position 
in the army, and appointed to the charge of one of the 
Divisions of the High Road from Calcutta to Bombay, lead- 
ing through Chutia Nagpur. 

Por several years he was employed in the uncongenial 
work of a Road Officer, and it was not until 1846 that he 
had the opportunity of returning to his archaeological 
researches. In doing so he felt that he was partly carrying 
out the wishes of James Prinsep, “ who oft expressed a wish 
that he should ramble over the district of Bihar, and cater 
for him.”* During 1846 and 1847, he accordingly travelled 
over a great part of the districts of Bihar and Shahabad, 
and added much valuable information to our knowledge of 

* Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1847, p. 273. 




their antiquities. But his chief aim seems to have been to 
make a large collection of drawings of choice specimens of 
sculpture with a view to future publication. In following out 
this plan much of his valuable time was wasted in making 
drawings of sculptures and architectural ornaments, of 
many of which photography has since given us finer and 
even more detailed copies. But no less praise is due to him 
for the unwearied industry and patience with which he per- 
formed his self-appointed task, the results of which now 
form a valuable collection of about one hundred and fifty 
drawings belonging to the library of the East India 

About this time, through the influence of Mr. Thomason, 
Lieutenant-Governor of* the North-Western Provinces, 
Kittoe was appointed “ Archseological Enquirer” to Govern- 
ment, on a salary of Rs. 250 a month. Whilst engaged 
on this work he was requested to prepare a design for the 
proposed Sanskrit College at Banaras. His design was 
approved ; and, when the building was fairly begun, Kittoe 
was obliged to reside altogether at Banaras to superintend 
its construction. With this work he was fully occupied during 
the remainder of his career, his only archaeological re- 
searches being some rather extensive excavations at Sarnath, 
where he uncovered a complete monastery, and added con- 
siderably to his collection of sculpture drawings. The 
work at the College was severe, as he had to model most of 
the mouldings with his own hands. On the 19th May 1852, 
he wrote to me “ Oh how I wish the College were out of 
hand, that I might set to work and compile my drawings 
and papers into some shape.” When I saw Kittoe at 
Gwalior in September 1852, he spoke despondingly of 
himself. His health was evidently much impaired, and he 
complained of headache and want of appetite. 

He was sick of the drudgery of the college work ; and 
in the beginning of 1853 his health completely broke down, 
and he was compelled to seek for change of air in England. 
On the 2nd of Eebruary he gave a lecture in Calcutta before 
the Asiatic Society on the antiquities of Sarnath, and exhi- 
bited to the meeting his collection of sculpture drawings. 
The voyage to England did him no good, and on his arrival 
he was so ill that he saw no one, and, as one of his friends 
informed me, “ he went straight to his home and died” in 



June 1853. Like Prinsep lie sank from overwork, and at 
about the same age. 

As a draughtsman Kittoe was painstaking and accurate, 
and therefore always trustworthy ; as an explorer, he was 
enthusiastic and indefatigable, qualities which generally 
command success ; hut as an investigator, he was wanting in 
scholarship and faulty in judgment. As specimens of his 
defective judgment, I may cite his continued doubts as to 
the identity of Asoka and Piyadasi, and his serious sugges- 
tion that the Barabar Cave inscription of Dasaratha, which 
Prinsep had truly assigned to the historical Dasaratha of 
Magadha, one of the immediate successors of Asoka, might 
probably be referred to the half fabulous Dasaratha of 
Ayodhya, the father of Rama. 

Kittoe’s chief discoveries were limited to temples, 
sculptures and inscriptions, and I cannot recal a single 
locality which he identified, or a single historical doubt 
which he settled, or a single name of any dynasty which he 
established. His discoveries were the result of unwearying 
exploration, and not the fruit of mental reasoning and 
reflective deduction. Such also, when his career was draw- 
ing to a close, was his own modest estimate of himself. On 
the 19th May 1852 he wrote to me : “ Let me not lead you to 
suppose that I claim knowledge. I am woefully deficient. 
I am a self-educated man, and no Classic or Sanskrit scholar ; 
I merely claim a searching eye and mind, and a retentive 
memory of figure and fact, and place or position. Hence 
my great success in finding inscriptions where many have 
searched in vain ! — Cuttack and Gya to wit.” This estimate 
of himself seems fully to justify my opinion of him, while 
at the same time it corroborates the prophetic judgment of 
James Prinsep that Kittoe would make “an invaluable 
antiquarian traveller.” 

The principal subject which has engaged the attention 
of Mr. Edward Thomas is the History of India as illus- 
trated by its coins and- inscriptions, and other monuments. 
His numerous essays, range over the long period of eighteen 
hundred years, from the establishment of the Bactrian 
monarchy in B. C. 246 to the final extinction of the Pathan 
empire of Delhi on the accession of Akbar in A. D. 1554. 
The following list of his principal essays shews the extent 



and variety of the contribution which he has made to Indian 
archaeology during the past twenty years. 

1. 1818 — Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. IX., — 
Coins of the Hindu Kings of Kabul. 

2. 1848 — Ditto ditto, Vol. IX., — Coins of the Kings of 

3. 1850 — Ditto ditto, Vol. XII., — Coins of the Sail 
Kings of Saurashtra. 

4. 1855 — Journal, Bengal Asiatic Society, Vol. XXIV., 
— On the Epoch of the Gupta Dynasty. 

5. 1855 — Ditto ditto, Vol. XXIV., — On the Coins of 
the Gupta Dynasty. 

6. 1855 — Ditto ditto, Vol. XXIV., — On ancient Indian 

7. 1858 — Prinsep’s Indian Antiquities, 2 Vols., thick 
8vo ; with numerous plates of coins, and many able in- 
dependent notices, bringing the state of knowledge in each 
branch up to the date of publication. 

8. 1860 — Journal, Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. XVII., — 
Supplementary Notice of the Coins of the Kings of Ghazni. 

9. 1864 — Journal, Bengal Asiatic Society, Vol. 
XXXIV., — On ancient Indian Weights (continued in the 
same journal for 1835). 

10. 1865 — Ditto ditto, Vol. XXXV., — On the identity 
of Xandrames and Krananda. 

11. 1866 — Ditto ditto, Vol. XXXVI., — The Initial 
Coinage of Bengal. 

12. 1871 — Chronicles of the Pathan Kings of Delhi. 

On all these different periods and subjects Mr. Thomas 
has thrown a flood of light by his accurate observations and 
critical sagacity. But his principal researches have been 
directed to the Muhammadan History of India, and more 
especially to the two periods of the Ghaznivide and Pathan 
dynasties. Here he has had the field entirely to himself; 
and to his critical sifting of evidence and noteworthy 
accuracy, we are mainly indebted for the clear and satis- 
factory settlement of the chronology of the Muhammadan 
kingdoms of Ghazni and Delhi. He has also initiated the 
same accurate arrangement of the chronology of the 



Patlian kingdom of Bengal, which will eventually be 
completed as more coins and inscriptions are brought to 
light and made available. 

The greater number of Mr. Thomas’s essays have been 
confessedly limited to the almost technical description and 
illustration of various important series of oriental coins. 
But in his notes and independent articles, inserted in his 
edition of Prinsep’s Essays, and more particularly in his 
last production, — the “ Chronicles of the Patlian Kings of 
Delhi,” — he has made good use of all accessible inscriptions, 
and of numerous passages of historians and geographers, 
which bear upon his subject. His “leading object,” as he 
himself states, “ has been to collect materials for history, 
in the form of documents, which it was primarily 
desirable to retain in their most authentic form.” This 
object he has accomplished in the most complete and satisfac- 
tory manner; and the future historian of Muhammadan 
India will be saved much of the weary and vexatious trouble 
of weighing the respective values of conflicting evidence, and 
of balancing the probabilities of opposing dates. All this 
laborious work has been well and carefully done by Mr. 
Thomas, whose critical sifting of evidence, and able scrutiny 
of all available information, have effectually winnowed 
I most of the chaff of doubt and dispute, and left little 
but the true grains behind. 

In Madras Sir Walter Elliot completed what Colonel 
Mackenzie had left undone. Mackenzie’s great collection 
of 8,076 inscriptions was made chiefly in the Tamilian pro- 
vinces to the south of the Krishna Biver, while Sir Walter’s 
collection of 595 inscriptions was formed principally in the 
ancient Karnata country, amongst the upper branches of the 
Krishna. His first contribution to Indian archaeology was 
a very valuable and interesting historical sketch,* founded 
solely on the inscriptions of the principal dynasties which 
had ruled over the countries between the Narbada and 
the Krishna for nearly eight centuries. Of these the great 
Chalukya family was the oldest, the strongest, and the most 
lasting ; and its line has since been traced back to the early 
part of the fourth century by the discovery of other inscrip- 
tions. Its career probably began in A. D. 318. Eor the 

* In Royal Asiatic Society’s Journal, IV., for 183G, and re-printcd with corrections 
in the Madras Literary Journal, Vol. VII., p. 190. 



early history of the northern half of the peninsula, this 
invaluable essay is our principal, and indeed almost our 
only, guide. 

Sir Walter has also illustrated the history of the 
Chalukyas and other southern dynasties by their coins, 
which he was the first to arrange systematically. He thus 
obtained their trustworthy evidence in support of the more 
extensive data supplied by the inscriptions. All previous 
enquiries had been contented to arrange the coins accord- 
ing to their devices, without regard to their age, or to 
the localities in which they were usually found. Thus, all 
the coins bearing the type of an elephant were assigned 
to the Gajapati dynasty, which was asserted to have reigned 
over Orissa ; all those with a horse to the Aswcipati dynasty ; 
those with the figure of a man to the Narapati dynasty ; 
and those with an umbrella to the Chhatrapati dynasty. 
These are currently believed to have been the titles of four 
tributary princes who held the four chief provinces of 
Southern India under the rule of the one supreme sove- 
reign of Delhi. The single omission of the boar of the 
Chalukyas is fatal to this neatly-contrived scheme. 

In Western India Colonel Meadows Taylor has chiefly 
confined his attention to the mysterious cromlechs and cairns, 
and stone circles, of which he himself made numerous and 
important discoveries in the Shorapur District.* The origin 
of these monuments is at present unknown. Colonel Taylor 
calls them pre-historic remains, and attributes them to the 
great Turanian or Scythian race which occupied Southern 
India before the immigration of the Aryas. “ Certain it 
is,” he remarks, “ that in the purely Aryan and Northern 
Provinces of India, no such structures have been found.”! 
But this is a mistake, as they have already been found 
in the hilly parts of the districts of Delhi, Mirza- 
pur, and Orissa, and I conclude that they will hereafter be 
discovered in many other parts of Northern India. I am 
inclined also to doubt that these monuments were peculiar 
to the Turanian races, for I look upon the stone colonnade 
that surrounds the great Sanchi stupa as only an improved 
version of the rude stone circle enclosing an earthen 

* See his able account of this interestin'; subject in the Journal of the Etenological 
Society, Vol. I., p. 157., “ On the l’re-historic Archaeology of India.’’ 

f “ Student’s Manual of the History of India,” p. 40, 



tumulus ; and as the Sanclii monuments is an undoubted 
Aryan structure, the probabilities seem to be rather in 
favour of the Aryan origin of its prototype, than that 
the Aryas borrowed the design from the earlier Turanian 
settlers. This however is, at present, a matter of opinion 
which will probably be settled by further researches. In the 
meantime the public is deeply indebted to Colonel Taylor 
for the very full and accurate details which he has given of 
the early stone monuments of Southern India. 

In his Student’s Manual of Indian History, Colonel 
Taylor has assigned the building of the second tope at 
Sanclii to Pushpamitra, the first of the Sunga dynasty of 
Magadha, whom he affirms to have been Buddhists, and 
“ famous for their religious zeal in the construction of reli- 
gious edifices and excavation of cave temples.”* Now, this 
is certainly a mistake, as Pushpamitra was a noted persecu- 
tor of the Buddhists, and is recorded to have offered a reward 
of one hundred dinars for the head of every Sramana.f 
As Colonel Taylor rarely quotes authorities, it is impossible 
to trace the source of this error. I can only conjecture 
that it is founded on a misreading by Dr. Stevenson of one 
of the cave inscriptions, which will be presently noticed, in 
which he identifies a petty Buddhist chief, NdyaJc, named 
Agnimitra, with the great Sunga King of Magadha, who 
would certainly appear to have been a Brahmanist, as well 
as his father, Pushpamitra. £ 

To the Beverend J. Stevenson, d. d., we owe the only 
series of translations that have yet appeared of the numerous 
inscriptions in the caves of Western India. These were 
published in 1857* from copies of the inscriptions prepared 
by Lieutenant Brett, which, though carefully and laboriously 
made, are deficient in many places, and are not sufficiently 
accurate in others to be fully relied upon. Por these reasons 
several passages, and even a few wTtole inscriptions, were left 
untranslated by Dr. Stevenson, whilst others were insuffi- 
ciently or incorrectly rendered by him. New and much more 
accurate copies of the inscriptions in the Kanhari and Nasik 
caves have since been published by Mr. West, but even 

* Student’s Manual of Indian History, page 54. 

+ Burnouf “Introduction h,l’ Histoire du Buddliisme Indien,” page 431. 

J See the drama of MtilaviMgniraitra in Wilson’s Hindu Theatre. 



these arc only hand copies, carefully reduced, it is true, by 
squares, but still only hand copies, and not facsimiles or 
impressions. I have myself visited both of these places, 
and I can state that I have not seen any inscriptions that 
would yield better impressions than the great Satrap and 
Andhra records of the Nasik caves. The most beautiful 
and perfectly accurate impressions or rubbings of these 
precious records might have been made by Mr. West in one- 
tentli of the time which was occupied in making his much 
less trustworthy hand reductions. 

Taking Dr. Stevenson’s translations altogether, there is 
no doubt that he has succeeded in giving the general scope 
of all the more important inscriptions, and has thereby 
added a very valuable amount of authentic information 
to the scanty records of early Indian history. With some 
of the shorter inscriptions he has been less successful ; for 
instance, he has taken Ddmildya as a masculine name, and 
identified Ddmild with the famous Chanakya, the minister 
of Chandra Gupta Maurya, thus ignoring, not only the 
feminine possessive termination in aya, but also the pre- 
ceding feminine word Bhikhuniya, or “ mendicant nun,” 
the inscription, in fact, being the simple record of a gift of 
the female mendicant Ddmild* In a second short inscrip- 
tion, by reading Maliaravisa, “of the emperor,” instead of 
Maharathisa , “ of Maharashtra,” he identifies the Nayalc, 
or “petty chief,” Agnimitra of Maharashtra with the great 
King Agnimitra of Magadha, the son of Pushpamitra, the 
founder of the Sunga dynasty.f Again, in his anxiety to 
obtain some name that would help to fix the dates of these 
inscriptions, he has identified Sahara with Vikramaditya by 
reading Sakdri, where the preceding names of Nabliaga, 
Nahusha, and Janamejaya, as well as the following name of 
Yayati, should have shown him that the solar hero Sagara 
was the person really intended. J 

* Historical names and facts contained in the Kanhari inscriptions. — Bombay Journal, 
V., page 29, No. 14, Inscription from Kanhari. 

t Sahyadri inscriptions. — Bombay Journal, V., page 152, No. 1, Inscription from Karle. 
$ On the Nasik cave inscriptions (Bombay Journal, V., page 43, No. 1 Inscription), Dr. 
Bhau Daji has adopted this erroneous identification of Vikramaditya in his Essay on 
Kalidasa. I pointed out Dr. Stevenson’s error to Mr. Fergusson, but he refers to it as if 
a Vikramaditya was mentioned by name. — See his Essay on Indian Chronology, page 52, 
note 1 (“ The Vikram&ditya mentioned in Gotamiputra’s inscription is evidently, from the 
company in which he is named, of pre-historic antiquity”). Mr. Fergusson must have 
remembered imperfectly what I told him, for there is no meutiou whatever of any Vikraina- 
ditya in Gotamiputra’s N usik inscription. 



To Dr. Stevenson we owe the first real progress that 
was achieved since Prinsep, in reading the numerical figures 
of these old inscriptions. But he contented himself with 
noting the more obvious cyphers, and hastily adopted values 
for others, which in one case led him to make the curious 
blunder of assigning thirty-two days to a fortnight. This 
happened from reading the letter y as the figure for 30, by 
which he changed “ batiya 2” into “ bati 32.”* * * § 

Dr. Stevenson also published several papers on the early 
religion of the Hindus of Southern India,! and a single 
paper on the Tithyas or Tirthakas of the Buddhists, whom 
he identifies with the Gymnosophists of the Greeks, and 
with the Digambara sect of Jains. $ These papers show 
much patient research and accurate observation in a new 
and interesting field of inquiry, and lead us to regret that 
Dr. Stevenson should have been cut off in the very midst of 
his career, just when his judgment had become mature, 
and promised to guide his acknowledged scholarship to use- 
ful results. 

Since Stevenson’s death the study of archseology in 
Western India has been taken up ably and enthusiastically 
by a Native gentleman, Dr. Bhau Daji, whose contributions 
to the Bombay Journal have thrown much light on the early 
history of the northern half of the peninsula. As a scholar 
he very early earned the thanks of all students of Indian 
literature and history by his essay on the Poet Kalidasa, 
and by his translations of the inscriptions in the Ajanta 
Caves, and of the inscriptions of Budra D&ma and Skanda 
Gupta at Junagarh.§ His reputation has since been amply 
maintained by his interesting and valuable notice of the 
“ Inroads of the Scythians into India,” || and by his discovery 
of the values of several of the unknown early numerals 
which had puzzled Dr. Stevenson. 

* See Journal of Bombay Asiatic Society, VoL V„ No. 18, inscription from Karle, 
line 3. 

f Royal Asiatic Society’s Journal, V., pp. 189, 264, and VI., 239, “On the ante- 
Brahmanical worship of the Hindus of the Dakhan ditto, VII., 1, “ On the intermixture 
of Buddhism with Brahmanism in the religion of the Hindus of the Dakhan j” ditto, 
VII., 64, “ On the Buddha-Vaishnavas of the Dakhan.’’ 

J Bombay Asiatic Society’s Journal, Vol. V. 

§ Bombay Asiatic Society’s Journal, VI., published in 1867, “ On the Sanskrit Poet 
Kalidasa ditto, VII., “ Ajanta Inscriptions,” and “ Translations of the Rudra Dama and 
Skanda Gupta Inscriptions at Junagarh.” 

|| Ditto, IX., p. 139, “ The Inroads of the Scythians into India.” 

H Ditto, VIII., p. 225, “ The Ancient Sanskrit Numerals in the Cave Inscriptions, and 
on the Sah Coins.” 



But Dr. Bhau Daji’s judgment has not kept pace with 
his scholarship, and he has consequently been led to the 
publication of several very grave errors. He thus rashly 
announces his condemnation of Dr. Mill’s translation of 
part of the Bhitari Inscription : “ I may now warn writers 

on Indian antiquities against implicitly receiving as correct 
the names given hv Dr. Mill of the female connexions of the 
Guptas, namely, Lichchhavi and Kumari Devi.”* I am 
happily in a position to settle this point by proving the abso- 
lute accuracy of Dr. Mill’s translation, bv referring Dr. 
Bhau Daji to the gold coins of Chandra Gupta bearing two 
figures, male and female, on the obverse, and a female seated 
on a lion on the reverse. These precious coins would almost 
seem to have been designed by Chandra Gupta’s mint-master 
for the special purpose of refuting D . Bhau Daji’s assertion, 
by labelling the two figures on the obverse as “ Chandra 
Gupta” and “ Kumari Devi,” and by adding the name of 
Lichchhavayah on the reverse.! 

In another place he has seriously proposed the altera- 
tion of the Chinese chronology of the pilgrim Hwen Thsang 
by sixty years to suit the date of Jayendra of Kashmir, 
simply because Hwen Thsang mentions that, on his arrival 
at the capital of Kashmir, he was lodged in the Jayendra 
Yihdra. But surely one may sleep in a palace of Akbar 
without becoming a contemporary of that great Mogul. If 
not, then Hwen Thsang’s date is hopelessly dubious, for he had 
already lodged in the Dushkara Vihara opposite Varahamula, 
and must, therefore, have been a contemporary of the Indo- 
Scythian prince Dvshka or Duvishka , at the latter end of the 
first century before Christ. 

I pass over some wild identifications proposed in Dr. 
Bhau Daji’s “Brief Survey of Indian Chronolgy,” to note the 
curious error in what he calls a correct genealogical table of 
the Balabhi Kings supported by dates from copper plates. 
In this genealogy I notice that Dhruva Sena, who is dated in 
310, is followed by six generations, all of which are made to 
pass away by 346, so that seven generations, including Dhruva 

* Bombay Asiatic Society’s Journal, VII., p, 216. 

t I possess two of these coins with the legends quite legible. The names of the King 
and Queen are written perpendicularly. The reverse legend has hitherto been erroneously 
read as Panch Chhavayah. 



Sena, or six without him, are born, marry, and die in 36 years, 
which allows exactly six years to each generation.* 

His last proposal is to read elm Gilika rajena in the 
Khalsi version of the famous passage in Asoka’s edicts, 
which gives the names of the four Kings, — Ptolemy, Antigo- 
nus, Magas, and Alexander, — thus making Gilika a Pali form 
of the Latin Grceci. But this name was not applied to the 
Hellenes until long after Asoka’s time, and could not pro- 
perly have been applied to the Macedonians at any time. 
Hr. Bhau Daji says — “ I take this opportunity of announcing 
that the word Kilakila, or Kailakila , Yavanas , which 
puzzled me before, is only a corruption, or rather a mis- 
lection of Gilika or Greek. ”f As I furnished Dr Bhau 
Daji with his copy of this portion of the Khalsi inscription, 
I am quite familiar with the words which he has thus 
strangely perverted. I read them as chatuli, 4, rajena , 
“ the four, 4, Kings,” taking the character, which he has 
made a k, to be the numerical symbol for 4, a mere repetition 
of the written word chatuli. The same repetition is found 
also in the Ariano Pali version of Kapurdigiri, where the 
word cliaturi is followed by four upright strokes 1 1 1 1 , like 
the well known Roman numeral, which cannot possibly mean 
anything else but the simple number 4. 

But in spite of these errors due to hasty opinions and 
rash speculations, which will no doubt be modified hereafter 
by more mature judgment, I feel that Dr. Bhau Daji is a 
worthy successor of Dr. Stevenson, and that he has well 
sustained the cause of Indian archaeology in the Bombay 

Of my own share in the progress of Indian archaeology 
I may be permitted to give a brief statement of what I have 
written, and of the discoveries which I have been able to 
make during a long and active career in India. The follow- 
ingis a list of my writings on my Indian antiquities : 

1. — 1840 — Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, IX., p. 
867 — Description of some new Bactrian coins. 

* Bombay Journal, VIII., p. 236, “Brief Survey of Indian Chronology — Genealogy 
of Balabhi Kings, p. 245. 

t Bombay Asiatic Society’s Journal, IX., p. CXXIV. I note that both Dr. Bhau D&ji 
and Babu Rajendra Lai use the barbarous word “ mislection.” I believe that the Kilakila 
Yavanas are not mentioned until after the Andhras, that is, not until several centuries after 
the total extinction of the Greek power in North-West India and the Panjab. They were 
probably either Iudo- Scythians, or Parthians. 



2. — 1842 — Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, XI., p. 
130 — Second notice of some new Bactrian coins. 

3. — 1843 — Boyal Asiatic Society’s Journal — Account 
of tlie discovery of the ruins of the Buddhist city of Sankisa. 

4. — 1843 — Numismatic Chronicle — The ancient coinage 
of Kashmir. 

5. — 1843 — Numismatic Chronicle — Attempt to explain 
some of the monograms on the Greek coins of Ariana and 

6. — 1845 — Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, XIV., 
p. 480 — Notice of some unpublished coins of the Indo- 

7. — 1854 — The Bhilsa Topes, or Buddhist Monuments 
of Central India, 8vo. 

8. — 1854 — Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, XXIII. — 
Coins of Indian Buddhist Satraps with Greek inscriptions. 

9. — 1863 — Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, XXXII. — 
Translation of the Bactro-Pali inscription from Taxila. 

10. — 1865 — Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, XXX IV. — 
Coins of the nine Nagas, and of two other dynasties of 
Narwar and Gwalior. 

11. — 1867 — Numismatic Chronicle — Coin of the Indian 
Prince Sophy tes, a contemporary of Alexander the Great. 

12. — 1868-1869-1870 — Numismatic Chronicle — “ Coins 
of Alexander’s successors in the East,” Part I. ; the Greeks 
of Bactriana, Ariana, and India. 

13. — 1870 — The ancient Geography of India, Yol. I. ; 
the Buddhist period, 8vo. 

In my account of James Prinsep’s final labour, I have 
been able to show from his letters that the anxiety which he 
publicly expressed to obtain more specimens of the latter 
coins, “ which mark the decadence of Greek dominion and 
Greek skill,” and of “ those coins on which the Native and 
Greek legends differ, or record different names,” continued 
down to the last, when in October 1838 he was compelled 
by ill health to give up work and to seek for change of air 
in England. This subject I was able to follow up in 1840, 
when the acquisition of a large number of coins from 
Afghanistan put me in possession of new specimens of Gondo- 
phares and Abdagases, which I published in the Journal of 



the Asiatic Society for that year. Several collectors then 
placed their cabinets at my disposal ; and with the purchase 
of a second collection from Kandahar and Sistan, I was able 
to prepare during the years 1840-41-42 no less than fifteen 
lithographed plates of all the known coins of the Greek and 
Indo-Scythian Kings of Bactriana, Ariana, and India. 

While this work was in progress, I published, in 1842, 
a second notice of new Bactrian coins, in which I first made 
known the names of the Greek Kings Straton, Telephus, 
Hippostratus, Nikias, and Dyonysius, of the Greek Queen 
Kalliope, and of the Scytho-Parthian Kings Arsakes and 
Pakores. In these two papers I gave the true symbols of the 
Arian letters d, g, and ph, from the Native legends of the 
coins of Gondophares, Abdagases, and Telephus, and the true 
symbol for the compound letter st from the coins of Straton 
and Hippostratus. These discoveries were followed up by 
finding the title of Strategasa, for the Greek Strategos 
or General, on the coins of the Aspa Yarmma, which bear 
the name of the great King Azas on the obverse, and that 
of his Hindu General on the reverse. “ These,” as Prinsep 
truly said, “ are the most precious to the student of Indian 
history,” for they prove that the military discipline of the 
Greeks was still in use nearly half a century after their domi- 
nion had passed away. 

At the same time I found that the reverse legends of 
the coins of Queen Agathokhia, which had puzzled Prinsep 
and Lassen, contained only the titles and name of Straton, 
who must, therefore, have been her husband. Continuing 
my discoveries, I obtained the true value of the Arian bh 
from the words blirata-putrasa, or “ brother’s son,” which, 
on the coins of Abdagases are the equivalent of the Greek 
Adelpliideds. Pollowing up this clue I next discovered the 
symbol for gh on the coins of the Native King Amogha- 

About the same time I assigned one of Prinsep’ s series 
of imitations of the Indo-Scythian money to its proper country 
Kashmir, by identifying the coins of no less than eighteen 
of the Hindu Bajas, from Toramana to Jaga Deva, who 
ruled from about A. D. 500 to 1200. This discovery was pub- 
lished in the Numismatic Chronicle for 1843. A few years 
later, in 1847, I was able to assign another series of some 



extent, but of later date and of less interest, to the Hindu 
Bajas of Kangra. 

In 1845, in a notice of some new coins of the Indo- 
Scytliians, I first published the reading of the name of the 
great Kushan tribe of Indo-Scythians on the coins of Kujula, 
and in the Manikyala inscription of General Court. At the 
same time I added a genuine Buddhist type to the known 
coins of Kanishka. 

In January and February 1851, Lieutenant Maisey and 
myself explored a large number of Buddhist stupas, or 
topes, in the Bhilsa District. In the same year I submitted 
a short account of our discoveries to H. H. Wilson, which he 
published in the Journal of the Boyal Asiatic Society. At 
the same time I prepared a detailed account of all the stupas 
that we explored, with translations of several hundred short 
inscriptions. This work, which was completed in 1851, was 
not published until 1854, under the title of “ The Bhilsa 
Topes.” Twenty years have since passed, many of them 
years of rare experience in archaeological investigation, and 
I see no reason to alter the dates which I then proposed of 
the third century B. C., for the erection of all the principal 
topes, and of the first century A. D. for the sculptured 
gateways of the great stupa. 

These dates have been generally accepted ; in fact, I am 
not aware that they have been disputed by any one save 
H. H. Wilson.* His arguments I will now examine at 
length, as it seems to me to be very important that there 
should be no doubt as to the age of these remarkable monu- 
ments, whose sculptures are so valuable for the illustration 
of Indian art. In justice also to myself I think it is 
absolutely necessary that I should take notice of the objec- 
tions which have been publicly brought forward in a lecture 
on Buddha and Buddhism, by so eminent an oriental scholar 
as Horace Hayman Wilson. 

He begins by stating that I make the age of the great 
Bhilsa tope as old as Asoka, “ its being as old as Asoka, 
depending upon the identification of Gotiputra, the teacher 
of Mogaliputra, who presided, it is said, at the third council 

* Royal Asiatic Society’s Journal, Vol. XVI., “ On Buddha and Buddhism,” by H. H. 
Wilson, pp. 250-251. 



in B. C. 241, a statement altogether erroneous, as Mogali- 
putra, Maudgala, or Maudgalayana, was one of Sakya’s first 
disciples three centuries earlier.” In this passage it is 
Wilson’s own statement that is “ altogether erroneous,” and 
not mine; and I now repeat my former assertion that 
Mogaliputra did preside at the Buddhist synod held in the 
reign of Asoka. The mistake which Wilson has here made 
is a strange one for an oriental scholar, as he not only 
ignores the detailed history of this council given in the 
Mahawanso,* but stranger still he confounds Mogalana or 
Maudgalyayana, the disciple of Buddha, with one of his 
descendants, for Mogaliputra bears the same relation to 
Mogali that Will’s-son, or Wilson, does to Will. 

A little further on he falls into another error, equally 
great, and almost as strange as that just noticed. He objects 
to the date of the Bhilsa topes, which I had inferred from the 
inscriptions on the relic caskets, because “ no legitimate con- 
clusions can be drawn from inscriptions of this class as to 
the date of the Sanchi monuments,” as the presence of relics 
in any monument is no more a proof of its antiquity, than 
would the hairs of Buddha, if ever dug up, prove the Shwe- 
Dagon of Rangoon to have been built in his day.” Here 
the professor has entirely lost sight of the one great fact on 
which I relied, that the inscriptions on the caskets are 
engraved in characters of Asolca’s age. On this fact alone 
I argued that the stupas which contained these relic caskets 
must be as old as the reign of Asoka. Having ignored this 
fact altogether and tilted against an argument which I never 
used, he then proceeds to say that the topes of Ceylon 
“ appear to be of an earlier date, if we may credit the tradi- 
tion which ascribes the erection of the Kuanvelli mound at 
Anurlklhapura to King Dutthagamini, who reigned 161 B. C. 
to 137 B, C.” So that, in the opinion of one of the most 
eminent Sanskrit scholars, a tradition is of more historical 
value than a self-evident fact, the truth of which has been 
admitted by every one except Wilson himself. 

Having thus settled to his own satisfaction that the 
topes of Ceylon, which could not have been built before the 

* It seems almost superfluous to refer to the Mahawanso for a fact which is so well 
known ; but as Wilson has publicly asserted that Mogaliputra was a disciple of Buddha 
himself, and has branded my statement as “altogether erroneous,” I refer the reader to the 
3rd Chapter of Tumour’s Mahawanso for the proceedings of the First Buddhist Synod 
under Mahakassapo ; to the 4th Chapter for the Second Synod ; and to the 5th Chapter for 
the Third Synod, held during the reign of Asoka, under the guidance of Mogaliputra. 



conversion of the Ceylonese to Buddhism by Mahindo, the 
son of Asoka, are older than the great Sanchi stupa, which, 
as I have pointed out in my Bhilsa topes, almost certainly 
gave its name to the hill of Clietiyagiri which was known 
by that name before the birth of Mahindo, Wilson con- 
tinues his remarks as follows : “ A somewhat earlier period 
than that of the Indian stupas may he assigned to another 
important class of Buddhist monuments, the cave temples 
belonging to that persuasion, but they also, as far as has 
been yet ascertained, are subsequent to Christianity.” Thus, 
according to Wilson, the cave temples of Western India, in 
which not a single inscription of Asoka’s period has yet 
been found, are older than the Sanchi stupa, the railings of 
which are literally covered with inscriptions of Asoka’s age. 

But although the points to which Wilson so strangely 
took exception are not inaccurate, there are in my Bhilsa 
topes several undoubted errors, of which, perhaps, the worst 
is my making the five Kings of Magadha, whose names are 
mentioned by Hwen Thsang, form a continuation of the 
great Gupta dynasty. Their true period would appear to 
have been seven hundred years prior to Hwen Thsang’s visit, 
or about 66 B. C. Accordingly I look upon these five Kings 
as the immediate successors of the Sunga dynasty in 
Magadha, and the predecessors of the Guptas, while the 
Kanwa Kings of the Puranas were their contemporaries in 
North-Western India. Pollowing out this view, I now place 
the building of the great temple at Bodh-Gaya in the first 
century B. C. 

In the same year, 1854, I published a notice of the 
t{ Coins of Indian Buddhist Satraps with Greek inscriptions,” 
in which I made known the symbols for the Arian letters ch 
and chh and rm* and applied the discovery of the former to 
prove the Buddhist faith of the Scythian King Kozola Kada- 
phes, who calls himself on his coins Sachha dharma thidasa , 
the “ supporter of the true dharma.”f Here, again, I was 
met by the adverse and erroneous criticism of W T ilson,J who 

* Ch is found in aprati-chaJcra, “ invincible with the discus,” chh in chkatrapa or Satrap, 
and rm in the two Hindu names, Aspavarmma and Indra Varmma. 

+ I have adopted the reading of thidasa from Professor Dowson, in lieu of pidasa, 
which was my original rendering. 

J London Athenceum, 15th March 1856. 



objected that “ the legends of these coins had not been satis- 
factorily read ; and he especially objected to the reading of 
the word Ksliatrapasa or Satrap, the letters of which were 
very doubtful, and no other evidence being found to prove 
that this title had ever been borne by a Hindu prince.” 
The statement that no other evidence had been found is 
strangely incorrect, as Prinsep had found the title in the 
Girnar bridge inscription of Rudra Dama, a Hindu prince, 
and Wilson’s own translation of this inscription, afterwards 
furnished to Mr. Thomas,* contains the title of Mahakslia- 
trapa applied to Rudra Hama. The Satraps whose coins I 
brought to notice in this paper were Zeionises or Jihoniya, 
and Raziobalos or Rajubul ; and I may add of the legends 
of their coins, which Wilson declared “ had not been satis- 
factorily read,” that every single letter was rightly assigned. 

In the same paper I first made known the names of the 
Scytho-Parthian Kings Orthagnes and Sasi, or Sasan, both of 
whom claim on their coins to be connexions of the great 
King Gondophares. I also added my mite towards the 
identification of Chandra Gupta Maurya with Sandra- 
koptos by bringing to notice a fragment of Euphorion, 
the librarian of Antiochus the Great, which makes “ the 
Indian Morias live in wooden houses,” and the statement of 
Hesychins that “ the Morias were Indian Kings.” 

In November 1861 I began my explorations as Archaeo- 
logical Surveyor to the Government of India, and the results 
of my four years’ work form the subject of the present 
volumes, in which are recorded the discovery of many 
ancient cities, of which the most famous are Taxila and 
Sangala in the Panjab, Sruglma, Ahichhatra, Kosambi, and 
Sravasti in the north-west, and Nalanda in the east. 

In 1862 I discovered the names of the Macedonian 
months, Artemisios and Apellaios , in two of the Ariauo Pali 
inscriptions from Afghanistan. This discovery was also 
made independently by Professor Howson ; and, although 
objected to by Babu Rajendra Lai, it has since been fully 
confirmed by the further discovery of the names of Panemos 
and Daisios in other inscriptions. The name of Panemos 
occurs in the well known Taxila inscription of the Satrap 

# Prinsep’s Essays on Indian Antiquities, II., 68. 




Liako Kujulako , dated in the 78th year of the great King 
Jloga, whom I identified with the Mocts of the coins, a 
conclusion which is now generally accepted. I also pub- 
lished a partial translation of this inscription, in which I 
made known the values of the Arian compounds of the letter 
r in the words purvva , sarvva, and acharya, which were at the 
same time independently made out in England by Professor 

In a note on the same inscription, published shortly 
afterwards in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 
I gave the true values of the old Indian cyphers for 40, 50, 
60, and 70, of which three bad not previously been ascer- 
tained by Dr. Bhau Daji in his paper published in the same 

In 1865 appeared my essay on the “ Coins of the Nine 
Nagas, and of two other dynasties of Narwar and Gwalior.” 
The coins of the Naga Kings are of considerable importance 
as they are certainly as old as those of the Gupta dynasty, 
and comprise as many names. The coins of Pasupati are 
valuable, as their date is almost certain ; Pasupati being tbe 
son of Toramana, who ruled over the countries between the 
Jumna and the Narbada towards the end of the third cen- 
tury A. D. The latest series of coins are also interesting 
as they are dated and include one Hindu Prince Chahara 
Deva, who for a long time was the successful opponent 
of tbe early Muhammadan Kings of Delhi. In the same 
paper I successfully identified Narwar with the city of 
Padmavati of the poet Bhavabhuti, by the names of no less 
than four streams in its immediate vicinity which are men- 
tioned in the drama of Malati and Madhava. 

During my stay in England from 1866 to 1870, I pub- 
lished first an account of the “ Coin of a Indian Prince 
Sophytes, a contemporary of Alexander,” preparatory to a 
long-contemplated work on the “ Coins of Alexander’s suc- 
cessors in the East,” of which the first part, relating to the 
Greeks of Bactrina, Ariana, and India, is now nearly complete, 
nine out of ten portions having already appeared in the 
Numismatic Chronicle. In this work I have added coins of 
the new Kings Artemidorus, Epander, Theophilus, Apollo- 
plianes, and Straton II. Altogether there are described tbe 
coins of no less than thirty Kings with pure Greek names, of 



whom only seven are mentioned in history. As the coins of 
several of these princes are found in considerable numbers in 
the Panjab and North-Western India, there can be little 
doubt that their conquests extended far into India, as stated 
by several Greek writers, and as admitted in a few passages 
of Sanskrit writers, which have only lately been made ac- 
cessible. The history of the Eastern Greeks is, therefore, 
intimately connected with that of India for more than a 
century after the time of Asoka, when their dominions passed 
to the Indo-Scythians, whose occupation of Northern India, 
though equally certain, is barely acknowledged by Hindu 

Of my last work, “ The Ancient Geography of India,” 
which appeared at the close of 1870, I will say no more 
than that it is chiefly devoted to the illustration of the cam- 
paigns of Alexander and of the pilgrimage of Hwen 

In closing this review of the progress of Indian 
archaeology, in which the chief share has been achieved by 
men who were not professed scholars, I beg it to be dis- 
tinctly understood that we field archaeologists make no 
claim to more than ordinary scholarship, and that if we 
have been successful in many of our archaeological re- 
searches, we can truly ascribe our success in great measure 
to the hitherto difficult path having been smoothed by the 
labours of our great Sanskrit scholars, whose translations 
have placed within our reach nearly all the chief works of 
Indian learning. If we have sometimes been able to per- 
ceive what had escaped the notice of our more learned 
contemporaries, it has been owing to the lift that we have 
got from them ; for, as the old scholiast says, Pygmcei 
gigantum humeros, 8fc ., “ even pygmies on the shoulders of 
giants can see farther than the giants themselves.” 



PUtU l. 



Uhripapa ■ 






1 &. 


FA-HIANano hwen-thsang 



"52 Mile* to 1 [bet. 

A, CunninghsiTi A<t\ 

Litao. at the Surveyor General'* Office. Calcutta, June 18?'. 


Eepcrt of operations of the Archaeological Surveyor to the Government of 
India, during Season 1861-62- 

In the explorations which I have carried out during the 
past season, I have adhered strictly to the plan of proceedings 
sketched in the memorandum which I submitted to the 
Governor General in November 1861. I began work in 
December at Gaya; and after exploring all the places of 
antiquarian interest in Bihar, Tirliut, and Champaran, I 
visited several ancient sites in Gorakhpur, Azimgarh, and 
Jonpur, on my way to Banaras, where, on the 3rd April, 
I closed work for the season. I will now give a brief sketch 
of my operations at the different places in the order in which 
I visited them : 


There are two places of the name of Gaya, one of 
which is called Buddha- Gay a, or Buddhistical Gaya, to 
distinguish it from the city of Gaya, which is situated six 
miles to the northward.* In Gaya itself there are no ancient 
buildings now existing ; hut most of the present temples have 
been erected on former sites and with old materials. Statues, 
both Buddhistical and Brahmanical, are found in all parts 
of the old city, and more especially about the temples, where 
they are fixed in the walls, or in small recesses forming 
separate shrines in the court-yards of the larger temples. 
I have noted the names and localities of all these statues. 

The inscriptions at Gaya are numerous ; but, owing to 
the destruction of the ancient temples, there are hut few 
of them in situ, or attached to the objects which they were 
originally designed to commemorate. I have taken copies 
of all the inscriptions, of which the most interesting is a 
long and perfect one, dated in the era of the Nirvdn, or 
death of Buddha. I read the date as follows : 

Bhayavati parinirvritte samvat 1819 Karttike badi 1 Budhe, 

that is, “in the year 1819 of the emancipation of Bhagavata, 
on Wednesday, the first day of the waning moon of Kartik.” 


* See Plate III. 



If the era liere used is the same as that of the Buddhists of 
Ceylon and Burmah, which began in 543 B. C., the date of 
this inscription will be 1819 — 543=A. D. 1276. The style of 
the letters is in keeping with this date, hut is quite incom- 
patible with that derivable from the Chinese date of the 
era. The Chinese place the death of Buddha upwards of 
1,000 years before Christ, so that, according to them, the date 
of this inscription would be about A. D. 800, a period much 
too early for the style of character used in the inscription. 
But as the day of the week is here fortunately added, the date 
can be verified by calculation. According to my calculation 
the date of the inscription corresponds with Wednesday, the 
17th September, A.D. 1342. This would place the Nirvana 
of Buddha in 477 B. C., which is the very year that was first 
proposed by myself as the most probable date of that event. 
This corrected date has since been adopted by Professor Max 

Some of the inscriptions, though less interesting, are 
still valuable for the light which they will throw upon the 
mediaeval period of Indian history. Several Rajas are men- 
tioned in them ; and in one of them the date is very minutely 
detailed in several different eras. 

The most noteworthy places at Gaya are the temples of 
Vishnu-pad, or 54 Vishnu’s feet;” of Gadddhar, or the “mace- 
bearer,” a title of Vishnu, and of Gai/esioari Devi. The 
figure in this last temple is, however, that of DurggH slaying 
the Buffalo, or Maheshasur; but as the destruction of the 
Asur Gaya is universally attributed to Vishnu, this temple 
must originally have contained a statue of that god as 
Gayeswara Deva, or the “lord of Gaya.” Gaya was an Asur 
or demon. All the gods and goddesses sat upon him, but 
were unable to keep him doun, when Vishnu put his foot 
upon him and prevailed ; and the giant is said to be still 
lying there under the temple of Vislmii-pad. This, however, 
is the Bralimanical story, for the Buddhists say that the 
name is derived from Gaya Ivasyapa, a fire-worshipper, who 
on this very spot was overcome by Buddha in argument. 

* I have since submitted this date to the scrutiny of my learned friend Bapu 
Deva Sastri, the well known astronomer ; according to whose calculation the 1st of 
Kartilebadi in A. D. 1276 was a Friday, and in A. D. 1342 a Monday; but in A. D. 
1341 it fell on Wednesday the 7th of October N. S., which would place the beginning 
of the Buddhist era in B. C. 478. 


























tf f 




naif //. 

ShowmgH WEH-THSAN63 

32 Males to 1 Incli 

Uch eh)i ag-HitSa 

i Adichlini i 




Several interesting sculptures, and one long and well pre- 
served inscription, are also to be seen at tlie Krishna 
Dwarika temple. 

In the neighbourhood of the Vishnu-pad there is a deep 
tank called Suraj Ktind, to the west of which is a temple to 
. Snrya or the Sun. The vestibule of this temple is formed of 
two double rows of pillars, all ten feet in height, and all 
leaning more or less to the north. There are five pillars in 
each row. The whole temple, both inside and outside, has 
been repeatedly white-washed, so as almost to conceal the 
ornaments of the pillars. One long inscription Avas found 
inside, and a second was afterwards obtained by scraping 
off the thick coating of white-wash from a part of the 
wall pointed out by a good-natured Brahman. This inscrip- 
tion was the valuable one first mentioned as containing a 
date in the era of the death of Buddha. 

The several hills in the immediate neighbourhood are 
also esteemed holy, and are accordingly crowned with temples. 
The highest of these, to the south of the town, is called 
Brahmjuin, or Brahma-yoni , the temple on its summit being 
dedicated to the Sakti, or female energy of Brahma, whose 
five -headed statue is enshrined in the temple.* This figure 
is placed on an old pedestal which is said to have been 
inscribed with a verse stating the date of erection in V. S. 
1690 or A. D. 1633. The destruction of the statue is attri- 
buted with much probability to Aurang Shah. On the left 
hand of this statue there is a small two-anned standing figure 
with a horse on the pedestal. It is, therefore, most probably 
a statue of Sambhunath, the 3rd of the 21 Jain hierarchs, 
whose cognizance is a horse. Beside this figure there is a 
group of Siva and Parvati with the Bull Nandi below, and 
a short imperfect inscription in three lines, of which only 
one-half now remains. The characters belong to the period 
of the 10th or 11th century. The hill is 150 feet in height, 
and very steep on the town side. But the ascent has been 
rendered easy to pilgrims by the erection of a long flight of 
steps from the base to the summit by the Mahratta Deva 
Kao Bhao Saheb, since the accession of the present Maharaja 
Jayaji, of Gwalior, that is, within the last 18 years, as re- 
corded on an inscription slab let into the pavement. 

* See Plate III. for the position of this hill. This statue belongs properly to Siva who 
has live heads, as Brahma has only four heads. 



To the north of the town, the granite hill of Ramsila 
rises to a height of 372 feet. The granite temple on its sum- 
mit contains a lingam called Fdtdleswara Maliadeva, as well 
as small figures of Siva and Parbati. The upper portion of 
this temple is modern, being constructed of various ancient 
fragments that do not fit well together, and which are in 
some instances placed upside down. The lower part of the 
temple, from eight to ten feet in height, is undoubtedly old ; 
and perhaps the date of 1071 Samvat, or A. D. 1014, found 
on one of the blocks of the granite pavement may record the 
actual period of the erection of the temple. The basement 
mouldings are strikingly hold and effective. 

To the north-west of the town, the hill of Fretsila bears 
a small temple erected by Ahalya Bai to pacify the ghost or 
spirit (pretaj who is said to dwell in the hill. I could learn 
nothing of the origin of this spirit, who is held in great awe, 
from which I infer that he is identical with Yama, the god of 
death, one of whose titles is Fretcirajci , or king of ghosts, that 
is, of departed spirits. The hill is 541 feet in height, and its 
rocks are believed to contain gold. The shrine is much fre- 
quented by pilgrims who seek to appease the dread spirit by 
their offerings. There is a curious serpentine road leading from 
the foot of Bamsila to Pretsila. The road has been metalled, 
and trees have been planted on both sides of it by some 
wealthy devotees. 

FLdma Gaya is a small hill on the eastern hank of the 
Phalgu Elver, opposite Brahmjuin. There are some ruins 
and broken statues scattered about it, hut nothing of any 
interest except one short inscription of Sri Mahendra Fdla 
Feva, dated in the eighth year of his own reign, or of some 
new era. 


Buddlia-Gaya is famous as the locality of the holy Pipal 
tree under which Sakya Sinha sat for six years in mental 
abstraction, until he obtained Buddhahood. The name is 
usually written Buddha-Gaya ; hut as it is commonly pro- 
nounced Bodh-Gaya, I have little doubt that it was originally 
called Bodlii-Gaya, after the celebrated Bodhi-drum or 
“ tree of knowledge.” A long and detailed account of this 
sacred place is given by the Chinese pilgrim Ilwen Thsang, 
who travelled all over India between the years A. D. 629 and 


642. He describes minutely all the temples and statues 
which surrounded the celebrated Pipal tree, known through- 
out the Buddhist world as the JBodhi-drum. Several of the 
objects enumerated by the Chinese pilgrim I have been able 
to identify from their exact correspondence with his descrip- 

The celebrated Bodhi tree still exists, but is very much 
decayed ; one large stem, with three branches to the westward, 
is still green, but the other branches are barkless and rotten. 
The green branch perhaps belongs to some younger tree, as 
there are numerous stems of apparently different trees clus- 
tered together. The tree must have been renewed frequently, 
as the present Pipal is standing on a terrace at least 30 feet 
above the level of the surrounding country. It was in full 
vigour in 1811, when seen by Dr. Buchanan (Hamilton), 
who describes it as in all probability not exceeding 100 years 
of age. Hwen Thsang also describes an early renewal by 
King Puma Varmma after its destruction by King Sasdngka, 
who dug up the ground on which it had stood, and moistened 
the earth with sugar-cane juice to prevent its renewal. 

Immediately to the east of the Pipal -tree there is a mas- 
sive brick temple, nearly 50 feet square at base and 160 feet 
in height from the granite floor of the lower story to the 
top of its broken pinnacle. This is beyond all doubt the 
Vihdr, from 160 to 170 feet in height, described by Hwen 
Thsang as standing to the east of the Bodhi tree. Its base 
was about 20 paces square. It was built of bluish bricks 
plastered with lime ; it was ornamented with niches in stages, 
each niche holding a golden statue of Buddha, and was 
crowned with an amalaka fruit in gilt copper. The existing 
temple, both in size and appearance, corresponds so exactly 
with this description, that I feel quite satisfied it must he 
the identical temple that was seen by Hwen Thsang. The 
ruined temple, as it now stands, is 160 feet in height, with a 
base of rather less than 50 feet square. It is built entirely of 
dark red brick of a bluish tinge, and has formerly been plas- 
tered all over. Lastly, the walls are ornamented externally 

* The life and travels of Hwen Thsang have been given to the world by M. Stanislas 
Julien in three volumes entitled Voyages des Pelerins Bouddhistes. This translation, the 
work of twenty years’ persevering labor in the acquisition of Chinese and Sanskrit, combined 
with an intimate knowledge of Buddhist literature, is a lasting monument of human in- 
dustry and learning. 



with eight tiers, or rows, of niches, many of which still hold 
figures of Buddha. These figures are made of plastered 
brick, but they were no doubt formerly gilt, as is done with 
the plaster statues of the Burmese at the present day. 
There is, however, no trace of the copper-gilt amalcika 
fruit. I have thus been particular in noting the points of 
correspondence between the two temples, because there 
seems to me to he a very strong probability that the exist- 
ing temple was originally built by the celebrated Amara 
Sinha, the author of the Amara Kosha, as I will now pro- 
ceed to show. 

On the site of this temple, according to Hwen Thsang, 
there was originally a small Vilidr built by Asoka between 
259 and 241 B. C.* Afterwards, a new temple of very great 
size was built by a Brahman in compliance with the instruc- 
tions of the god Mahadeva conveyed to him in a vision. 
Inside the temple was placed a statue of the ascetic Buddha 
as he appeared when seated in meditation under the Bodhi 
tree. The statue was 11 feet and 5 inches in height, 8 feet 
8 inches in breadth across the knees, and 6 feet 2 inches 
across the shoulders. The figure was sitting cross-legged 
facing the east. Now these particulars correspond almost 
exactly with the arrangements of the present building. Its 
doorway is towards the east, and consequently the enshrined 
statue must have faced toward the east. The statue itself has 
long ago disappeared, but its pedestal still remains in good 
order. Its dimensions are as follows : length 13 feet 2 inches, 
breadth 5 feet 8 inches, and height 4 feet ^ inch, which 
measurements agree most closely with those recorded by 
Hwen Thsang; namely 12 feet 5 inches in length by 4 feet 
2 inches in height. Considering how exactly both the temple 
and the pedestal of the figure correspond in size and in other 
respects with the description of Hwen Thsang, I think there 
can be no reasonable doubt that the present temple is the 
same that was seen by him in the 7th century of our era.f 

Now, in an inscription dated in A. D. 948, which was 
found at Buddha-Gaya, and translated by Sir Charles Wil- 
kins,! the author of the record ascribes the building of this 

* Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 465. 

f See Plate IV. for a plan of the temple, and Plate V. for the pedestal. 
X Bengal Asiatic Researches, vol. I. 


Plate IV. 

A. Cunmiig' del 

Lith: Soxrv: Geji 1 * Office Cal June 1&7> 


Plate V 



temple, and the erection of an image of Buddha, to the illus- 
trious Amara Deva, who is stated to have been one of the 
nine gems of the court of King Vikramaditya. The last fact 
serves at once to identify Amara Deva with Amara Sinha, 
the author of the Amara Kosha, who, as a contemporary of 
Vordha Mihira and Kdlidds, must have lived in A. 3). 500. 
In this inscription the temple is said to have been erected in 
compliance with the command of Buddha himself, conveyed 
to him in a vision. Here then we have the same story that 
is found in Hwen Thsang. In both statements, a Brahman 
in a vision receives command from a deity to build a temple 
with an enshrined figure of a god. The correspondence is 
complete, excepting only one curious point of difference in 
the name of the god, whom the Buddhist Hwen Thsang des- 
cribes as the Brahmanical Mahadeva, hut whom the Brah- 
manist recorder of the inscription calls Buddha himself. 

The holy places at Buddha- Gaya were visited between 
A. D. 399 and 414 by another Chinese pilgrim Ea-Hian, hut 
his account of them is unfortunately very brief. It is, how- 
ever, sufficient to show that there was no temple in existence 
at that date. Ea-Hian notes the spot where Buddha, seated 
on a stone under a great tree, eat some rice presented to him 
by two maidens. I he stone still existed, and is described by 
him as about 6 feet in length and breadth, and 2 feet in 
height.* Now, there is a large circular stone, 5 feet 74 inches 
in diameter and about 2 feet high, in the small temple of 
Vcigeswari Devi, which from its dimensions would seem to be 
the identical stone described by Ea-Hian. It is a blue stone 
streaked with whitish veins, and the surface is covered with 
concentric circles of various minute ornaments. The second 
circle is composed of Vcijras only. The third is a wavy scroll, 
filled with figures of men and animals. These circles occupy 
a breadth of 15 inches, leaving in the centre a plain circle, 
3 feet 14 inches in diameter, inside which is a square. This 
simple stone I believe to be the same as that mentioned by 
Hwen Thsang as a blue stone with remarkable veins. f 

Erom all the facts which I have brought forward, such 
as the non-existence of any temple in A. 1). 400, the recorded 
erection of a large one by Amara Deva about A. H. 500, and 


* Beal’s Fa-Hian, c. XXXI. 
f Julien’s Ilweu Thsang, II„ 471. 



tlic exact agreement in size as well as in material and orna- 
mentation between the existing temple and that described by 
Hwen Thsang between A. D. 629 and 642, I feel satisfied 
that the present lofty temple is the identical one that was 
built by the celebrated Amara Sinha about A. D. 500. 

Further information regarding this temple is to he found 
in the Burmese inscription discovered at Buddha-Gaya by 
the Burmese Mission in 1833, and translated by Colonel 
Burney.* Another earlier translation by Batna Pala was 
published by James Prinsep. In this inscription the dates 
have been read differently by the two translators ; Batna 
Pula and James Prinsep reading 667 and 668, while Colonel 
Burney and his Burmese assistants read 467 and 468. I 
have carefully copied this inscription, and I am thus enabled 
to state positively that Colonel Burney was certainly wrong 
in adopting the earlier date 'in compliance with the views of 
the Burmese priests, whose object it was to reconcile the 
date of the inscription with their own history. James 
Prinsep remained unconvinced by Colonel Burney’s argu- 
ments, and appended a note to his translation, in which he 
states that the first figure of the upper date might be a little 
doubtful, but that the first six of the lower date seemed to 
him quite plain, and essentially different from the four which 
occurs in the second line of the inscription. The two dates 
of 667 and 668 of the Burmese era, as read by Batna Pala, 
correspond with A. D. 1305 and 1306. 

In this Burmese inscription, the erection of the original 
temple is ascribed to Asoka, as recorded also by Hwen 
Thsang. Having become ruined, it is said to have been re- 
built by a priest named Naik Mahanta according to Batna 
Pala, or by a lord named Penthagu-gyi by Colonel Barney. 
Where the term “ priest” is used by Batna Pala, Colonel 
Burney gives <c lord,” because, as he states, it is not now 
customary to say tci-youk of a priest, although in former 
times both priests and laymen are said to have been styled 
youk. The Burmese affix gyi, which means “ great,” has 
apparently been translated into the Indian Nayak or Chief ; 
and Penthagu, which Colonel Burney regards as a proper 
name, and which would, therefore, be Pensagu in Indian pro- 
nunciation, is rendered Mahanta by Batna Pala. I cannot 

* Bengal Asiatic Researches, XX., 197 ; and Journal, Bengal Asiatic Society, 1S34, p. 214. 



Plate VII 


Plate VI 

No. 1 Pavement Slab of Great Temple, S 1385. 

No. 2 Pavement Slab of Great Temple S 1383. 

A. Cunningham del Fhatoziiicogrsphed at tlie S«rrve7or CrexusraTa Office Calcutta , 



pretend to reconcile these differences myself ; but I submitted 
a copy of tbe inscription to Sir Arthur Pliayre, whose inti- 
mate knowledge, both of the Burmese language and of the 
Buddhist history, entitles him to give an authoritative opi- 
nion on the disputed points of this interesting record. He 
reads the two dates as 6G7 and 660, corresponding with A. D. 
1305 and 1298.* One thing is quite clear, if these different 
records are to he reconciled, namely, that Benthagu-gyi (or 
Naik Mcihanta ) should represent the Brahman of Hwen 
Thsang, and also the celebrated Amara Deva of Wilkin’s 

The Burmese inscription goes on to say that the temple, 
after being again destroyed, was re-built by King Thado. 
Then having once more become ruinous, the “Lord of the 
White Elephant” and the great “ King of Righteousness” 
deputed Sri Dliarmmapada Majaguna to re-build it for a 
third time. After some delay, the work was begun in A. D. 

1305, and the temple was consecrated in the following year 


The granite pavement both inside the temple and in the 
court-yard outside is covered with rudely carved figures 
kneeling in adoration after the manner of the Burmese Shiko. 
Two specimens are given in Plate VI. with their accom- 
panying inscriptions. The upper one is dated in Samvat 
1385 or A. D. 1328, and the lower one three years later. 
The inscriptions record the names of the worshippers. On the 
left of the upper slab the inscription gives the name of a 
Thakur and of two Tkakurins, no doubt his wives, one of 
whom is called Jdjo. Erom the representation of a stupa as 
the object of worship on the right of the upper slab, it would 
appear that at least one holy stupa was still standing at so 
late a date as A. D. 1328. 

In front of the Great Temple there is a small open 
temple of four pillars covering a large circular stone, with 
two human feet carved upon it. This temple is now called 
Buddha-pad ; but there can be little doubt that it is the 
same which is mentioned in the Amara Deva’s inscription 
under the name of Vishnu-pad or “ Vishnu’s feet.” Origin- 
ally the feet may have been those of Buddha, which, on the 

* In a private letter dated 9tlx Jlarcli 18C9. 




decline of Buddhism, were quietly appropriated to Vishnu by 
the accommodating Brahmans. There is a short Nagari in- 
scription on the east side of the stone, giving the date of 
Sake 1230, which is equivalent to A. D. 1308.* 

There are other points of interest connected with the 
building of the Great Temple at Buddha-Gava, such as the 
date of the Bralnnanist King Sasdngka, who rooted up the 
Bodlii tree, and placed an image of Mahadeva in the temple, 
as well as the date of his contemporary the Buddhist Kurna 
Varmma, who renewed the Bodhi tree. 

Close to the Great Temple there is a small plain Samddh, 
or cenotaph, over the remains of the earliest Brahmanical 
Mahant. This is of no interest in itself, but the vestibule 
in front is supported on nine square sand-stone pillars, which 
have once formed part of a Buddhist railing, similar to those 
at Sanclii near Bhilsa, and which cannot be of much later 
date than Asoka. Many similar pillars, but of granite, 
support the arcades in one of the courts of the Mahant’s 
residence. A few of them bear an inscription in the ancient 
Pali characters of Asoka’s well known records, Ay aye 
Kuragiye danam, that is, “ Gift to the holy Kuragi.” There 
are altogether 33 of these pillars still remaining, of which five 
or six hear the above inscription. As the pillars are all sculp- 
tured, the value of the gift made to the holy Kuragi 
could not have been less than 10,000 Rupees. Some of the 
sculptured bas-reliefs on these pillars are highly interesting. 
They show the Buddhistic belief of the donor in the venera- 
tion for solid towers and trees ; they show the style of archi- 
tecture in the representations of temples, houses, gates and 
city walls ; and the costumes of the people in the dresses of 
the king, and of other worshippers of each sex.f 

Of the 33 ancient pillars above described, there are 10 
of sand-stone from some distant quarry, and 23 of granite 
from the neighbouring hills. They are all of the same 
•dimensions and of the same age ; but as the two sets of 

* See Plate VII. for a view of this famous stone. 

+ See Plate VII. for the inscription, and Plates VIII., IX., X. and XI., for the pillars of 
the Buddhist railing and their sculptured medallions. The excavations which have since 
been made by Government, on my recommendation, have brought to light a similar series 
of granite pillars, which form an oblong colonnade surrounding the Great Temple, 131 feet 
from east to west, and 96 feet from north to south. Several of the lower horizontal rails 
are still attached to the broken pillars. 



Pl-’.te VIII 



Plate IX 

Buddhist Railing- - Middle Pillars. 
Upper Basrdiefs 

A. Cunning-ham del Xith Surv Crem-l? Office Cal June 1871 


Plate X 

Buddhist Railing-Middle Pillars, 
Upper Basreliefs. 





A. Cunningham, del. 

^orazmcogrHju • £Jf Die ^jxrveyr-'' ' -a- pal s 0££ •• Calcutta 


Plate XI 

Buddhist Railing-Middle Pillars 
Centre Bus reliefs. 




A. Cannii lei 


i )i ■^•zixu-ogrsphe'l a* the Surveyor •fHurraTft Otiiee Calcutta . 



pillars were found in different localities, although not far 
apart, I believe that they originally formed different enclosures. 
The sand-stone pillars are said to have been found at the 
southern side of the Great Temple, and close to the holy 
Pipal tree. I believe, therefore, that they originally formed 
an enclosure round the Bodhi tree itself. The granite pillars 
are said to have been discovered about 50 yards to the east of 
the Great Temple ; and I think it probable that they once 
formed an enclosure either round the stupa which stood on 
the spot where Buddha received a howl of rice and milk from 
two milkmaids. According to Hwen Thsang, this stupa was 
to the south-west of the Great Temple.* 

To the south-east of the Great Temple there is a small 
tank called Budhokar Toil, which exactly answers the 
description given by the Chinese pilgrim of the tank of the 
dragon Muchalinda. f This agreement is so striking, that it 
was seen at once by the members of the Burmese Embassy. 

There are two ruined small temples to the east of the 
Great Temple, the nearer one being called Tara Devi , and 
the further one Vageswari Devi. But the former temple 
contains only a standing male figure, with a short inscription 
over the right shoulder in characters of about A. D. 1000, 
Sri Buddha-Ddsasya, “ (the gift) of the fortunate slave of 
Buddha.” The goddess Tara belongs to the later days of 
Buddhism, after the introduction of Tantrika doctrines. The 
other temple contains a seated male figure, holding a lotus 
in his left hand, and sword in his uplifted right hand, with 
a Buddhist tope or solid tower on each side of him. 

To the north of the Bodhi tree there is a ruined fortress 
of earth 1,500 feet long by 1,000 feet broad, attributed to 
Baja Amara Sinha Suvira. This is possibly the same person 
as the Amara Deva who built the Great Temple, as the arched 
passage leading to the temple is said to have been built for 
the convenience of Amara Sinha’s Bani when returning from 
her morning bath in the Nilajan Biverto pay her devotions at 
the shrine. The preservation of the title of Sinha down to the 
present day would seem to strengthen the supposition of 
Amara Deva’s identity with the author of the Amara Kosha. 

* I venture to make this guess, as k&ra or k&r is the Sanskrit name for “ boiled 
rice,” and Tcuragi may, therefore, have been the name of the holy spot where Buddha 
accepted the offering of the milkmaids. Kuragi means also a measure of land in Mahratti ; 
the inscription may, therefore, mean simply “ Gift to the holy spot of land.” 

f Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 478. 



The remaining antiquities at Buddha-Gaya consist of 
numerous Buddhist statues of all sizes, some placed in small 
temples, and others scattered about the ruins ; but the great- 
est number of them, and by far the finest, are fixed in the 
walls of the Mahant’s residence. 

The existing inscriptions at Buddha-Gaya are few in 
number, and, with one exception, they are of little im- 
portance. Two valuable inscriptions, translated by Wilkins 
and James Prinsep, are no longer to be found; nor does 
the Mahant know anything about them. This is the more 
to be regretted, as the former was the record already quoted 
of Amara I) era, and the other had a doubtful date which 
might have been re-examined. In searching for these, how- 
ever, I found a new inscription in the pavement of the gate- 
way of the Mahant’s residence. The tenon hinge of the gate 
works in a socket formed in the very middle of the inscrip- 
tion. There are two socket holes, the second one having 
belonged to an older gate, or having been cut in the wrong 
position. This inscription opens with an invocation to 


To the eastward of Buddha-Gaya, on the opposite bank 
of the Phalgu or Lilajan River, and immediately to the north 
of the village of Bakror, there are the ruins of a large brick 
tope, with a stump of a sand-stone pillar at a short distance 
to the northward. The ruined mound, which is called Katani, 
is 150 feet in diameter at base, and 50 feet high. It is built 
of the usual large bricks, 15^ x 10-}- x 3}-. Several excava- 
tions have been made in it in search of bricks and treasure. 
About 70 years ago numerous lac seals, impressed with a 
figure of Buddha, were found in excavating this tope. These 
are engraved in Moor’s Hindu Pantheon, Plate LXX., Figures 
6, 7, and 8, where they are said to have been dug up at 
Buddha-Gaya. My information was, however, derived from 
the Mahant himself ; and as Bakror is only half a mile to the 
eastward, it would have been more correct to have described 
the locality as near , instead of at, Buddha-Gaya. The stump 
of the pillar, which is still in situ, is 3 feet 0^ inch in diameter, 
and there is another fragment near a well to the north-west that 
measures 3 feet 0}- inch in diameter. Both of these pieces 
belong to the rough bottom portion of the pillar, which must 

Plor-t 271 . 



of the Ruins at 



_ . artinq 

vv.muShF 1 

JJt*okaf Tell 

B Dew Temple. 

Fiftal Tru, * 

5 C*lL*. of Feu. 


of the Rviins at 
K U R K I H A R. 

Scale of Feet 

• ■ , ■ , T , ■ t ..L.g 

Mound, of Ruins with, 
numerous Statue#. 

Coles sal .statue' of Buddha 

/ necribed. Statue* of B uddha. 

and other figures, 
ywtnerovu Votive' Stupa# 
of granite ■. 

Buirted Forts, with- Solid 
brock wails . 

SitgaT-ghar, 120 feet Square*, 
IS feet high;. 

c\. Cunningham, del 


three* Isolated mils 


Litho. at the Survr. Genl’s. Office, Cal. August 1371 




have been imbedded in masonry. The shaft of this pillar is 
said to have been taken to Gaya by a former Magistrate. 
Accordingly in Sahebganj, or the new city of Gaya, there 
is a sand-stone pillar 2 feet 4§ inches in diameter, and up- 
wards of 16 feet in height, which was set up as a central 
point in Sahebganj, as recorded in a Persian inscription by 
Charles Badom Saheb (Boddam) in A. D. 1789. 

The tope and pillar of Bakror were visited by Hwen 
Thsang, who relates a story regarding the capture by a 
certain king of an “Elephant of Perfume” ( gandha-hasti) * 
In a former existence, as a Bodhisatwa, Buddha was said to 
have been the son of this Elephant, and a stupa and pillar 
had accordingly been erected in commemoration of the 
tradition. There was also a sacred tank, which is, perhaps, 
represented by a small walled tank generally called Mdrttand 
Bokhar or Suraj Kund, that is, the “Tank of the Sun.” 
It is also called Buddhakund ; but this name was applied 
by some to a large unwalled tank about 800 feet square, 
immediately to the north of the small tank. An annual 
fair is held at the Suraj Kund, when thousands of pil- 
grims assemble to bathe in its holy waters. They sit in 
the water in rows, and repeat, after their attendant Brah- 
mans, the names of all the holy places around Gaya. The 
ancient name of Bakror is said to have been Ajayapura. 


The village of Punawa is situated 14 miles to the eastward 
of Gaya, between two hills of grey granite. To the north 
there is a fine old square tank called Budhokar Tdl, and to 
the east another tank called Karamar Tdl. The principal 
object is a pillared temple of Trilokndth. As it stands at 
present, this temple is a modern work made up of different 
sized pillars of various patterns, some with and others without 
capitals, so as to bring them to the required height. Pilasters 
have even been made use of as whole pillars, with the old 
rough engaged backs left exposed. One of the doorways of 
hard blue stone is richly sculptured. In the centre is a figure 
of the ascetic Buddha, with a three-pointed crown over his 
head, and on each side of him nine figures with joined hands 

Julieu’s Hwen Tlisang, III., 1. 



kneeling towards him. The other doorways are of granite, 
and, though very plain, are evidently of the same age as the 
more highly ornamented one.* 

Several statues and granite pillars of different sizes are 
scattered about the foot of the hills. Portions of the usual 
Buddhist formula, “ Ye Dharmma ,” &c., are found upon 
some of the statues. There are no dates in any of these 
inscriptions, but the style of their letters fixes their date at 
about A. D. 1000. To the north-west, on a mound 60 feet 
square, there are five broken pillars and a broken statue of 
the three-headed goddess Vajra-Varahi, one of the principal 
objects of worship amongst the later Buddhists. Two of 
her heads are human, but the third is that of a hog, and on 
the pedestal there are seven hogs. The ruined temple on 
this mound is called Narting. 


About three miles to the north-east of Punawa is the 
large village of Kurkihar. It is not to be found in any of 
our maps, not even in No. 103 sheet of the Indian Atlas, 
although it is perhaps the largest place between the cities of 
Gaya and Bihar. The remains at Kurkihar consist of several 
ruined mounds, in wPich numerous statues and small votive 
topes of dark blue stone have been found. The principal 
mass of ruin, about 600 feet square, lies immediately to the 
south of the village.* A second less extensive mound lies to 
the south-west ; and there is a small mound, only 120 feet 
square, to the north of the village. The last mound is 
called Sugatgarh, or the “ house of Sugatci,” one of the well 
known titles of Buddha. In the principal mass of ruin, the 
late Major Kittoe dug up a great number of statues and 
votive topes ; and a recent excavation on the west side 
showed the solid brick-work of a Buddhist stupa. In the 
north-Avest corner of this excavation the relic chamber had 
been reached, and I was privately informed that a small 
figure and some other remains had been discovered inside. 
But the head man of the village stoutly denied that anything 
had been found, and all the villagers then denied the discovery 

* See riate XII. 

Plate XIII. 


1. Four-armed Female Statue— Xapatya. 

I — 

2 Bas-relief of Ashta-Sakti. 

3. Six-armed Male Figure Standing. 

4<l%4)iw\5 g ^ c 5. 

ftrWIWW \I s^^x 2 *^ 

4 Broken Pedestal. 





5. Son-Bhandar Cave. 

J% ^VrJ-TP eu *7 u 3g c£ & - *5 

cu z^-o/AP- 


6. Seated Male Figure. 

<?f2| 3 4 W I ?• * q <%'< *%> ^5 

^ -mQVf 



7. Architrave. 

^ala^ 5 wq. wih& **\vw frffovy? H*ftn 

A. Cunningham del. 

Fh-jtc.nnco^aph.ed. a* lie Sur^eTyr General's Office Calcutta.. 



The principal statue is a squatted figure of the ascetic 
Buddha under the holy Pipal tree, or Bodhi-drum. Overhead 
there is a representation of the Nirvana, or death of Buddha, 
and on the pedestal there is an inscription in three lines, which 
is incomplete owing to the loss of a projecting corner of the 
base. To the right and left there are smaller figures of Mdyd 
standing under the Sal tree at the birth of Buddha, and of 
Buddha himself teaching the law at Banaras after his first 
attainment of Buddhaliood. On the mound to the east there 
is a standing figure of Buddha, with a small attendant figure 
holding an umbrella over him. As this attendant has three 
heads, I believe that it represents the Hindu Triad in the 
humble position of a servitor of Buddha. 

At the north-east corner of the village there is a small 
rude Hindu temple of brick, in and about which a large 
number of statues have been collected. The temple is dedi- 
cated to Baglieswari Devi (Vyaghreswari), but the principal 
figure inside is a life-size statue of the eight-armed Burgd 
conquering the Maheshasur or Buffalo demon. The figure 
pointed out to me as that of Bagheswari was a four-armed 
female seated on a lion with a child in her lap ; but I believe 
that this figure represents either Indrdni with her son the 
infant Jayanta, or Skasti, the goddess of fecundity, a form 
of Burga. The principal figure outside the temple is a life- 
size statue of AJcshobya, who is represented squatted under 
the Bodhi tree, in the same manner as the ascetic Buddha, 
with the left hand in the lap, and the right hand hanging 
over the knee. There is a halo round the head inscribed 
with the usual Buddhist formula, “ Ye Bliarmma ,” &c. ; and 
near the head there is a short inscription giving the name of 
the figure “ Tun Akshobya-vajra, hun 

I procured several short but interesting inscriptions at 
Kurkihar. The name of Sakala is mentioned in several of 
them, and also Kerala in DaJcshinades .* The age of these 
inscriptions, judging from the shapes of the letters, must be 
about A. D. 800 to 1000. 

The true name of Kurkihar is said to be Kurak-vihar, 
which I believe to be only a contracted form of Kukkuta- 
pdda Vilidra or “temple of the cock’s foot,” which must 
have been connected with the Kukkuta-pdda-giri or 

* See Plate XIII. 



Cock’s-foot kill, which is described by both Fa-Hian and Ilwen 
Tbsang* The Sanskrit Kukkuta is the same word as the 
Hindi Kukkar or Kurak , a cock, so that Kurak-vilidr is 
clearly the same appellation as Kukkuta-pdda Vihdra. 
There was a monastery also of the same 'name, but this was 
close to Tdtaliputra or Patna. The Kukkuta-pada-giri was 
a tlirce-peaked bill, which Avas celebrated as the abode of the 
great Kdsyapa, as well as the scene of his death. On this 
account it vras also called Guru-pddci-parvata , or “ Teacher’s- 
foot hill. The situation of Kurkihdr corresponds exactly 
with Fa-Hian’s account, excepting that there is no tliree- 
peaked hill in its neighbourhood. There are, however, three 
bare and rugged hills which rise boldly out of the plain 
about half a mile to the north of the village. .As these 
three hills touch one another at their bases, I think that they 
may fairly be identified with the three-peaked hill of Hwen 


From the neighbourhood of Gaya two parallel ranges 
of hills stretch towards the north-east for about 36 miles 
to the bank of the Panckana Fiver, just opposite the village of 
Giryek. The eastern end of the southern range is much 
depressed, but the northern range maintains its height, and 
ends abruptly in two lofty peaks overhanging the Panckana 
Fiver. f The loAver peak on the east is crowned with a solid 
tower of brick-work, well known as Jarasandha-ka-baithak, or 
“ Jarasandka’s throne,” Avhile the higher peak on the west, 
to which the name of Giryek peculiarly belongs, bears an 
oblong terrace covered Avith the ruins of several buildings. 
The principal ruin would appear to lnive been a viliar, or 
temple, on the highest point of the terrace, which was 
approached by a steep flight of steps leading through pillared 

The ttro peaks are connected by a steep pavement, 
which was formerly continued down to the foot of the hill 
opposite the village of Giryek. At all the commanding 
points and bends of this road are still to be seen the stone 
foundations of small brick stupas from 5 and 6 feet to up-' 
wards of 12 feet in diameter. At the foot of the upper 

* Beal’s Fa-Hian, c. XXIII. ; and Julien’s Hwen Thsang, III., 6. 
+ See Plates III. and XIV. for the position of Giryek. 


P r ate XIV. 



slope, and within 50 feet of Jarasandha’s Tower, a tank 100 
feet square has been formed, partly by excavation, and partly 
by building up. There is a second tank, at a short distance 
to the north, formed by the excavation of the rock for build- 
ing materials. Both of these tanks are now drv. 

The stupa, called Jarasandha-ka-baithaJc, is a solid 
cylindrical brick tower, 28 feet in diameter, and 21 feet in 
height, resting on a square basement 11 feet high. The 
cylinder was once surmounted by a solid dome or hemisphere 
of brick, of which only 6 feet now remain, and this dome 
must have been crowned with the usual umbrella rising out 
of a square base. The total height of the building could 
not, therefore, have been less than 55 feet or thereabouts. The 
surface has once been thickly plastered, and the style of 
ornamentation is similar to that of the Great Temple at 
Buddha Gaya.* I sank a shaft 11 feet in depth from the top 
of the building right down to the stone foundation ; and I 
continued a gallery, which had been begun many years ago, 
at the base of the cylinder, until it met the well sunk from 
above, but nothing whatever was discovered in either of these 
excavations to show the object of the building. 

On the west side of Jarasandha’s Towner, and almost 
touching its basement, I observed a low mound which seem- 
ed like the ruin of another stupa. On clearing the top, 
however, I found a small chamber 5 feet 8 inches square, 
filled with rubbish. This chamber gradually widened as it 
was cleared out, until it became 7 feet square. At 5-| feet 
in depth, the rubbish gave place to brick-work, below which 
was a stratum of stone, evidently the rough foundation of 
the building. In the south-west corner of the brick-work, 
about one foot below the surface, I found 81 seals of lac 
firmly imbedded in the mud mortar. The seals were all oval, but 
of different sizes, generally about 3 inches long and 2 inches 
broad. All, however, bore the same impression of a large 
stupa with four smaller stupas on each side, the whole sur- 
rounded by an inscription in mediaeval Nagari characters, 
Ye Dharmma hetu prabhava, &c., being the well known for- 
mula of the Buddhist faith. Externally, this building was 
square with projections in the centre of each face and similar 
in its ornamentations to the basement of Jarasandha’s Tower. 

* See Plate XV. for a sketch of this stupa. 




On tlie eastern side of the Panchana Paver, there is an 
extensive mound of ruins, being half a mile long from north 
to south, and 300 yards broad in its widest part. There are 
the remains of two paved ascents on the river side, and of 
three more on the opposite side of the mound. In the middle 
of the mound there is a small mud fort, and at the northern 
end there are several pieces of sculpture collected together 
from different places ; one of these is inscribed and dated in 
the year 42 of some unknown era, somewhere about the 
eleventh century, or perhaps even somewhat later. 

At two miles to the south-west of the village of Giryek, 
and one mile from Jarasandha’s Tower, there is a natural 
cavern in the southern face of the mountain, about 250 feet 
above the bed of the Banganga rivulet. This cave, called 
Gidhad war, is generally believed to communicate with Jaras- 
andha’s Tower ; hut an examination with torches proved it to 
he a natural fissure running upwards in the direction of the 
tower, hut only 98 feet in length. The mouth of the cavern, 
is 10 feet broad and 17 feet high ; but its height diminishes 
rapidly towards the end. The cave is filled with bats, and 
the air is oppressively warm and disagreeable, which alone 
is sufficient to prove that there is no exit to the cavern 
otherwise there would be a draught of air right through it. 
Vultures swarm about the precipitous cliffs of pale grey horn 
stone, and I picked up their feathers in the mouth of the 

The remains at Giryek, which I have just described, 
appear to me to correspond exactly with the accounts given 
by Ea-Hian of the “ Hill of the Isolated Rock,” where Indra 
questioned Buddha on 42 points, writing each of them singly 
with his finger upon a stone, and with that given .by Ilwen 
Thsang of the hill of Indra-silci-guha, which refers to the 
same story.* Ea-Hian states that traces of these written 
questions still existed, and that there was a monastery built 
upon the spot, hut he makes no mention of any stupa. 
Hwen Thsang states that on the crest of the hill there were 
marks in two places wdiere the four former Buddhas had 
sat and walked. On the eastern peak there was a stupa 
and also a monastery called the “ JELansa Sanghdrdma” or 
“ Goose’s Monastery,” to account for which he relates the 

Beal’s Fa-Hian, c. 28 ; and Jiilien’s Hwen Thsang, III., 58. 

Plate XV. 

restored, from 
still existing 

A. Cunningham, del. 

rtotozmco^ri^liei .S-.ur/tvrn: 'J-eneral' :’£u-> 


from the South 



following legend : One clay, when taking exercise, a men- 
dicant, who was the steward of the monastery, saw a flock 
of geese high in the air, and as the monks of his fraternity, 
although strictly abstemious, had experienced great difficulty 
in procuring sufficient food, lie exclaimed playfully — 
“ To-day the pittance of the monks is insufficient. 0 noble 
beings (Malidsathcas) you ought to have compassion on 
our circumstances.” No sooner had he spoken these words, 
than one of the geese fell dead at his feet. The horror-struck 
mendicant ran to tell the tale to his brethren, who became 
overwhelmed with grief. “ Buddha,” said they# “ established 
his law for man’s guidance under all circumstances. The 
Mahayana (Great Vehicle) is the source of truth, while we 
have foolishly followed the doctrine of the B. 'indy ana (Lesser 
Vehicle). Let us renounce our former opinions. This goose 
has taught us a salutary lesson, let us do honour to her emi- 
nent virtue by transmitting it to the most distant ages.” 
They accordingly built a stupa over the dead goose, which 
was interred in the base of the monument, and adorned it 
with an inscription relating the pious devotion of the goose. 

If my identification of the Giryek Hill with the Indra- 
sila-gulia of Hwen Tlisang is correct, there can be little doubt 
that Jarasandha’s Tower is the very stupa that was built in 
honour of the devoted goose. Only this one stupa is men- 
tioned by Hwen Thsang, and Jarasandha’s Tower is the only 
one now existing on the hill. In further corroboration of 
this identification, I may mention that close by I found a 
broken figure with a large goose carved on the pedestal ; and 
further, that one of the stupas on the lac seals found on the 
spot, appears to bear a goose on its summit. As no mention 
is made of any stupa by Ea-Hian, the erection of this tower 
most probably took place between his date and that of Hwen 
Thsang, or about A. D. 500. 

The position of Giryek corresponds so exactly both in 
bearing and distance with that of the hill of Indra-sila- 
guha, that I feel quite satisfied of their identity.. No etvmo- 
logv has yet been proposed for the name of Giryek ; but it 
seems to me not unlikely that it is nothing more than Girl - 
eha, “ one hill,” that is, the Hill of the Isolated Eock 
of Ea-Hian. 

Both of the pilgrims mention the cave in the southern 
face of the mountain, which corresponds exactly with the 


natural cavern of Gidha Dwar, which I lmve already des- 
cribed. Gidlia Dwar, in Sanskrit Gridhra-dwdra, means the 
Vulture's pass, or opening. By Ilwen Tlisang the cave is 
called Indra-sila-guha, or “the cave of Indra’s stone,” being 
thus named after the stone on which were delineated the 42 
points on which Indra had questioned Buddha. Fa-Hian 
adds that Indra himself drew the marks upon the stone 
with liis finger. 

A second cave is described by Hwen Thsang as the 
Vulture’s Cave in the hill called Gridhra-kuta-parvata “ or 
Vulture’s Cave hill.”* This name was derived from the story 
of Ananda’s adventure with the demon Mara in the shape of 
a vulture. The demon suddenly stopped before the cave and 
terrified Ananda, when Buddha passing his hand through the 
rock laid hold of Ananda’s arm, and at once removed his 
fear. The cleft in the rock said to have been made by Bud- 
dha’s hand, was seen by Fa-Hian early in the 5tli century. t 
Major Ivittoe thought that the Gidha Dwdr Cave was the 
Vulture’s Cave of the Chinese pilgrims, but its distance of 
4^ miles from the old capital of Rajagriha is too great, as 
both Fa-Hian and Ilwen Thsang place the Vulture’s Cave 
at 15 li from old Rajagriha, that is, at only miles from 
it. This cave besides answers exactly to that described by 
Ilwen Thsang under the name of Indra-sila-gulia, and 
the two caves were certainly distinct. I made every en- 
quiry for another cave, but could only hear of one very 
close to that of Gidha Dwdr, which was quite inacces- 
sible. But taking the distance and direction from old 
Rajagriha, the Vulture’s Cave must have been in the lofty 
precipitous hill now called Sila-giri, or the “ Rocky Moun- 
tain.” Gidha Dwar is the name of a narrow pass where the 
two parallel ranges of hills before described close together 
within two miles of Giryek, and the Gidha Dwar Cave is 
immediately above the pass. 

VII. ft A J G I It . 

Whatever doubts may exist regarding the identification 
of Kurkihar and Giryek, there can fortunately be none 

* Julien’s Hwen Thsang, III., 20. 
t Beal’s Fa-Hian, c. 29. 



respecting Rdjgir, as the representative of the ancient Rdja- 
griha. The name is still preserved in the modern Rdjgir , 
and I found it repeated in numerous inscriptions in the tem- 
ples on the Baibhar and Yipula Mountains. The old city of 
Baj agriha is described by Fa- Hi an as situated in a valley 
between five hills, at 4 li (or two-tliirds of a mile) to the 
south of the new town of Baj agriha. The same position and 
about the same distance are given by Hwen Tlisang, who 
likewise mentions the hot springs which exist to this day.* 

The old city of Bajagrilia is called Kusagarapura , or the 
city of the Kusa grass, by Hwen Tlisang, who further des- 
cribes it as the “ town surrounded by mountains.” This last 
is almost a translation of Giri-vraja , or the city of “ many 
hills,” which is the old name of the capital of Jarasandha, 
preserved both in the Rdmdyana, and the Mcilidbliarata. Fa- 
Hian states that the “ five hills form a girdle like the walls 
of a town,” which is an exact description of the site of old 
Bajgir.f A similar description is given by Tumour from the 
Pali annals of Ceylon, where the five hills are named Gijjlia - 
Jculo, Isigili, TPebliaro , TPepullo, and Pandawo. In the 
Maliabharata the five hills are named Pailidra, Par alia, 
Prishabha, Rishigiri, and G baity aka ; but at present they are 
called Baibhdr-giri, Pipiila-giri, Ratna-giri, Udaya-giri, and 

In the inscriptions of the Jain temples on Mount Baiblidr 
the name is sometimes written Baibhara, and sometimes 
Pyavahdra. It is beyond all doubt the TPeblidro Mountain 
of the Pali annals, in which was situated the far-famed Sat- 
tapanni Cave in front of which was held the first Buddhist 
Synod in 543 B. C. The Baibhar Hill lies to the west of the 
hot springs, and the Yipula Hill to the east. In Baibhar 
there still exists a large cave called Son-bhdnddr, or the 
“Treasury of Gold.” The situation corresponds exactly with 
that of the Pi-po-lo cave of the two Chinese pilgrims, in 
which Buddha used to meditate after his noon-day meal.J 
The famous Sattaparmi Cave must be looked for in the 

* Beal’s Fa-Hian, c. 28 ; and Julien’s Hwen Tlisang, I., 159, III., 23. 

+ See Plate XIV. for the relative positions of these five hills. 
t Both M. Julien (in Hwen Thsang, III., 24) and Mr. Beal (in Fa-Hian, c. 30) read 
Pi-po-lo as the Pippal tree, but I would suggest that it may be only the Chinese transcript 
of Vaibhara. As, however, the great cave in which the First Synod was held was called the 
cave of the Nyagrodha tree (Banian, see Asiat. Kes. XX., 91), it is very probable that this 
other cave was called the Pippal tree cave. 



northern face of the south-west end of the mountain, at above 
one mile from the Son-bhandar Cave. 

Mount Vipula is clearly identical with the Wepullo of 
the Pali annals, and as its summit is now crowned with the 
ruins of a lofty stupa or chaitya, which is noticed by Hwen 
Thsang, I would identify it with the Chaityaka of the Malid- 
bliarata. llegarding the other three mountains, I have 
nothing at present to offer, but I may mention that they 
are also crowned with small Jain temples. 

The old city between the hills is described by Pa-Hian 
to be 5 or 6 li from east to west, and 7 or 8 li from north to 
south, that is, from 2 4 to 28 li or 4^ miles in circuit. Hwen- 
Tlisang makes it 30 li or 5 miles in circuit, with its greatest 
length from east to west. My survey of the ancient ramparts 
gives a circuit of 24,500 feet, or 4|th miles, which is between 
the two statements of the Chinese pilgrims. The greatest 
length is from north-west to south-east, so that there is no 
real discrepancy between the two statements as to the direc- 
tion of the greatest length of the old city. Each of them must 
have taken his measurement from the Nekpai embankment 
on the east (which has been described by Major Kittoe) to 
some point on the north-west. If taken to the Panch- 
Pandu angle of the ramparts, the direction would be W. N. 
W., and the length upwards of 8,000 feet ; but if taken to 
the temple of Torlia Devi, the direction would be N. N. W., 
and the distance upwards of 9,000 feet. 

I have already quoted Ea-Hian’s statement that the 
c *' five hills form a girdle like the walls of a town.” This 
agrees with Hwen Thsang 1 s description, who says that “ high 
mountains surround it on four sides, and from its exterior 
walls, which have a circuit of 150 li or 25 miles. Eor this 
number I propose to read 50 li or 8^- miles, a correction which is 
absolutely necessary to make the statement tally with the 
measurements of my survey. The following are the direct 
distances between the hills : 

1. From Baibhar to Vipula 

2. „ Vipula to Ratna 

3. „ Ratna to Udava 

4. „ Udaya to Sona 

5. „ Soua to Baibhar 

12,000 feet. 

4.500 „ 

8.500 „ 
7,000 „ 
9, 0U0 „ 

Total . . . 

41,000 feet. 

RAJ Gilt. 


This is somewhat less than eight miles ; hut if the ascents 
and descents are taken into account, the actual length will 
correspond very closely with the statement of Hwen Thsang 
when corrected to 50 li. The old walls forming this exterior 
line of rampart are still to be seen in many places. I traced 
them from Yipula-giri over Batna-girito theNekpai embank- 
ment, and thence onwards over Udaya-giri, and across the 
southern outlet of the valley to Soua-giri. At this outlet, 
the walls, which are still in good order, are 13 feet thick. 
To obtain a circuit of 25 miles, as given in. Hwen Thsang’s 
text, it would he necessary to carry these ramparts as far as 
Giryek on the east. As similar ramparts exist on the Giryek 
Hill, it is perhaps possible that Hwen Thsang intended to in- 
clude it in the circuit of his outer walls. But this immense 
circuit would not at all agree with his statement that " high 
mountains surround the city on four sides,” for the distant 
Hill of Giryek cannot in any way be said to form one of the 
sides of old Bajagriha. 

The new town of Bajagriha is said to have been built by 
King Srenika, otherwise called Bimbisdra , the father of 
Ajdtasatru, the contemporary of Buddha. Its foundation 
cannot, therefore, be placed later than 560 B. C. according to 
Buddhist chronology. In Hwen Thsang’s time (A. D. 629 — 
642), the outer walls had already become ruinous, but the 
inner walls were still standing, and occupied a circuit of 20 li, 
or 3^ miles. This statement corresponds tolerably well with the 
measurements of my survey, which make the circuit of the 
ramparts somewhat less than 3 miles. Buchanan calls new 
Bajagriha an irregular pentagon of 12,000 yards in diameter. 
This is clearly a misprint for 1,200 yards, which would give 
a circuit of 11,303 feet, or 2-g- miles ; but this was probably 
the interior measurement, which, according to my survey, is 
13,000 feet. The plan of new Bajagriha I make out to be an 
irregular pentagon of one long side and four nearly equal 
sides, the whole circuit being 14,260 feet outside the ditches, 
or rather less than three miles.* 

On the south side towards the hills a portion of the 
interior, 2,000 feet long and 1,500 feet broad, has been cut off 
to form a citadel. The stone walls retaining the earthen 
ramparts of this work are still in good order in many places. 

# See Plate XIV. 



It is possible that this work may be of later date, as suggest- 
ed by Buchanan, but I am of opinion that it Avas simply the 
citadel of the neAv town, and that its Avails have suffered less 
from the effects of time, oAviug partly to their having been 
more carefully and more massively built than the less impor- 
tant ramparts of the town, and partly to their having been 
occasionally repaired as a military position by the authori- 
ties, Avhile the repairs of the town Avails were neglected as 
being either unnecessary or too costly. 

The existing remains at Raj agriha are not numerous. 
The place has been occupied at different times by Musalmans 
and Brahmans, by whom the Buddhist stupas and vihars were 
pulled doAvn to furnish materials for tombs, masjids, and 
temples. All the eminences that must once have been 
croAvned by objects of Buddhist Avorsliip are uoav covered with 
Muhammedan graves ; and all the Brahmanical temples about 
the hot springs have been constructed Avith the large bricks of 
Buddhist stupas. One of these last monuments can still be 
traced outside the soutli-Avest corner of the town in a large 
circular hollow mound, which attracted the notice of both 
Buchanan and Kittoe. I examined this mound carefully, and 
I was satisfied that the IioIIoav represented the original site of 
a stupa from which the bricks had been carried off, while the 
surrounding circular mound represented the mass of earth and 
broken brick rubbish left by the workmen. The excavated 
stupa at Sarnath, near Banaras, uoav offers almost exactly the 
same appearance. According to IlAven Thsang’s account, 
this circular hollow Avas the site of a stupa 60 feet in height, 
which Avas built by Asoka. Beside it there Avas a stone pillar 
50 feet high, on which was inscribed the history of the foun- 
dation of the stupa. The pillar was surmounted by an 

On Mount Baibliar there are five modern Jain temples, 
besides the ruins of an old Saiva temple, of which four 
granite pillars, 10 feet in height, are still standing, and 50 or 
GO smaller pillars are lying confusedly about. At the southern 
foot of the mountain, the rock has a natural scarp for about 
100 yards in length, Avhicli, at the western end, has been 
smoothed to a height of 19 feet, in front of which the rock 
has been cut away to form a level terrace 90 feet in length by 

* Julien's Hweu Tlisang, III., 38. 



upwards of 30 feet in breadth. Two caves have been exca- 
vated out of the solid rock behind ; that to the west, now 
called the Son Bhandar, or “Treasury of gold,” being 34 feet 
long by 17 feet broad, and that to the east perhaps somewhat 
less in length, hut of the same breadth. This cave has either 
fallen in naturally through the decay of the rock, or, which 
is more probable, was blown up by a zemindar in search of 
treasure, as related by Major Kittoe of the other cave. 

The Son Bhandar Cave has one door and one window. 
Inside there are no traces of seats, or of pedestals of statues, 
and the walls and roof are quite bare, excepting where a 
few scarcely legible inscriptions have been cut. There are 
several short inscriptions on the jambs of the doorway, as 
well as on the outside. In the principal inscription, which is 
on two lines outside, the author speaks of this cave as the 
“ auspicious cave,” evidently alluding to the fact of its former 
occupation by Buddha for the purpose of meditating after his 
noonday meal. This inscription, which is not later than A. D. 
200, and is perhaps earlier, records that a certain “ Muni, 
named Taira Deva, of powerful dignity, was able to obtain 
emancipation, having shut himself up for spiritual enjoyment 
in this auspicious cell, a retired abode of Arhantas, fitted for 
an ascetic for the attainment of liberation.” On the east 
jamb of the door also the same epithet is applied to this cave, 
as if it was a well known name for it. This cave is excavated 
in the south face of the hill, where there is a natural scarp 
for about one hundred yards in length. The face of the cliff 
at the west end has been smoothed to a height of 19 feet, in 
front of which the ground has been levelled to form a plat- 
form of more than 30 feet. The cave itself is 34 feet long by 
17 feet broad and 11^ feet high. To the east there has been 
a second cave, about 22\ feet long by 17 feet broad ; but one 
half of the roof fell in long ago, and the cave is now filled 
with masses of rock and earth. The floor of this cave is on a 
lower level than that of the Son Blianddr, but the front is in 
the same line. Both caves had some building or verandah 
in front, as there are numerous socket holes cut in the rock 
above the door for the reception of the ends of beams. The 
whole length of level clearing in front of the caves is 90 feet. 

In the centre of the valley between the five hills, and in 
the very midst of the old city of Baj agriha, there is a ruined 




brick mound 19 feet 8 inches in height, which my excava- 
tions proved to be an ancient stupa. A diminutive Jain tem- 
ple, called Maniar Math, stands on the top of the mound. 
It was built in A. D. 1780. As I expected to find a solid 
brick building, I sank a shaft outside the Maniar Math with 
the intention of inclining gradually towards the centre ; but 
I soon found that the core of the mound was a mere mass of 
rubbish, filling a well 10 feet in diameter. This rubbish was 
so loose that its removal was dangerous ; but by propping up 
the portion immediately below the little temple, and remov- 
ing the bricks cautiously, I was enabled to get down to a 
depth of 2T| feet. At 19 feet I found three small figures. 
One of them represents Maya lying on a couch in the lower 
compartment, and the ascetic Buddha and two attendants 
above. The second is a naked standing figure, with a seven- 
headed snake forming a canopy over the head. This is 
clearly not a Buddhist, but a Jain sculpture. The third is so 
excessively rude, that it is difficult to identify it. The figure 
is four-armed, and is seated upon a recumbent animal, which 
looks more like a bull than anything else. It probably, 
therefore, represents Mahadeva and his bull Nandi. As all 
three figures formed only a part of the rubbish, it seems to 
me certain that the well must once have been empty ; and 
further, that the rubbish was most probably thrown in when 
the little Jain temple was about to be built. 

The natives of the place call this well the Treasury, and 
they assert that it has never been opened. On my arrival I 
found a Punjab Sepoy, with a servant, making an excava- 
tion on his own account. He had sunk a shaft 3 feet in 
diameter at 7^ feet from the little temple. The shaft was 
then 17 feet deep. I examined the bricks which had been 
taken out, and on finding some with bevelled and rounded 
edges, and others thickly coated with plaster, I guessed at 
once that the original structure had been covered with an 
outer wall, and that the shaft had been sunk just outside the 
original work. To ascertain whether this conclusion was 
correct, I laid bare the top of the mound, and soon discover- 
ed that the well was surrounded by a wall only 6 feet in 
thickness. This would give the original stupa a diameter of 
22 feet. The Punjab Sepoy continued his shaft down to the 
stone foundation without finding anything, and then gave up 
the work. 



Haying observed that the slope of the mound on the 
north side was very gentle, I thought it probable that the 
building must have been approached on this side by a flight 
of steps. I therefore made an excavation in a line due north 
from the centre of the mound, and within a couple of hours 
I found a doorway. Continuing the excavation to the east 
and west, as well as to the north, I found a small room with 
brick walls and granite pillars containing two middle-sized 
sculptured slabs of middle age. Outside the doorway a flight 
of steps led downwards towards the north ; I therefore turned 
to the south, and continued my excavation until I reached the 
main building. On examining the wall I found three recesses, 
the middle one being roofed by overlapping bricks. On clear- 
ing out the rubbish, this opening proved to be a carefully 
built passage only 2 feet 2 inches wide, and 3 feet 4-| inches 
in height, right through the outer wall of the building. 
Behind it, but a few inches out of line, there was a similar 
passage through the original wall, only 2 feet in width. At 
the end of the passage I found the well filled with the same 
rubbish as on the south side. 

The discovery of this passage shows that the Buddhist 
Monks had easy access to the interior of the building. I con- 
clude, therefore, that it must originally have contained some 
relic that was occasionally shown to visitors, and to the public 
generally, on certain fixed days. I cannot, however, discover 
in the accounts of Pa-Hian and Hwen Thsang any mention 
of a stupa inside the walls of old Raj agriha. 

The hot springs of Rajagriha are found on both banks of 
the Sarsuti rivulet; one-half of them at the eastern foot of 
Mount Baibhar, and the other half at the western foot of 
Mount Yipula. The former ar enamed as follows : 1, Ganga- 
Jumna; 2, Anant Rikhi; 3, Sapt Rikhi; 4, Brahm-kund ; 
5, Kasyapa Rikhi; 6, Bias-kund; and 7, Markand-kund. 
The hottest of these are the springs of the Sapt Rikhi. The 
hot springs of Mount Yipula are named as follows : 1, Sila- 
kund; 2, Suraj-kund; 3, Ganes-kund; 4, Chandrama 
kund ; 5, Ram-kund ; and 6, Sringgi-Rikhi-kund. Ike 
last spring has been appropriated by the Musalmans, by 
whom it is called Makhdum-kund, after a celebrated Saint 
named Chilla Shah, whose tomb is close to the spring. It is 
said that Chilla was originally called Chilwa, and that he was 
an Ahir. He must, therefore, have been a converted Hindu. 




Due north from Bajgir, and seven miles distant, lies the 
village of Baragaon, which is quite surrounded by ancient 
tanks and ruined mounds, and which possesses finer and 
more numerous specimens of sculpture than any other place 
that I have visited. The ruins at Baragaon are so immense, 
that Dr. Buchanan was convinced it must have been the 
usual residence of the King ; and he was informed by a Jain 
priest at Bihar that it was the residence of Baja Srenika 
and his ancestors. By the Brahmans these ruins are said to 
be the ruins of Kundilpur, a city famed as the birth-place of 
Bukmini, one of the wives of Krishna. But as Bukmini 
was the daughter of Baja Bhishma, of Vidarbha, or Berar, it 
seems probable that the Brahmans have mistaken Berar for 
Bihar, which is only seven miles distant from Baragaon. I 
therefore doubt the truth of this Brahmanical tradition, more 
especially as I can show beyond all doubt that the remains 
at Baragaon are the ruins of Nalanda, the most famous seat 
of Buddhist learning in all India. 

Pa-Hian places the hamlet of Nalo at one yojan, or 7 
miles from the Hill of the Isolated Bock, that is, from 
Giryek, and also the same distance from new Bajagriha.* 
This account agrees exactly with the position of Baragaon, 
with respect to Giryek and Bajgir. In the Pali annals of 
Ceylon also, Nalanda is stated to be one yojan distant from 
Bajagriha. Again, Hwen Thsang describes Nalanda as being 
7 yojans, or 49 miles, distant from the holy Pipal tree at 
Buddha-Gaya, which is correct if measured by the road, the 
direct distance measured on the map being 40 miles. f He 
also describes it as being about 30 li, or 5 miles, to the north 
of new Bajagriha. This distance and direction also corres- 
pond with the position of Baragaon, if the distance be 
measured from the most northerly point of the old ramparts. 
Lastly, in two inscriptions, which I discovered on the spot, 
the place itself is called Nalanda. This evidence seems con- 
clusive ; but I may add further that the existing ruins, which 
I am now about to describe, correspond most minutely with 
the descriptions of Hwen Thsang. 

* Beal’s Fa-Hian, c. XXVIII. 
t Julien’s Hwen Thsang, I., 143. 



1 . 
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Pa-Hian calls Nalanda tlie birth-place of Sariputra, 
who was the right hand disciple of Buddha ; but this state- 
ment is not quite correct, as we learn, from the more detailed 
account of Hwen Thsang, that Sariputra was born at Kcila- 
pinaka , about half-way between Nalanda and Indra-Sila 
Guha, or about 4 miles to the south-east of the former place. 
Nalanda has also been called the birth-place of Malm Moga- 
lana, who was the left hand disciple of Buddha ; but this 
is not quite correct, as the great Mogalana, according to 
Hwen Thsang, was bom at Kulika, 8 or 9 li, less than T| 
mile, to the south-west of Nalanda. This place I was able 
to identify with a ruined mound near Jagdispur, at lj mile 
to the south-west of the ruins of Baragaon. 

The mound of Jagdispur is 200 feet square, and of 
little height, except in the south-east corner, where there is 
a considerable eminence, 70 feet square. On the southern 
edge of this height, there is a magnificent Nira tree, under 
w’hich several statues have been collected. One of these is 
the finest and largest piece of sculpture that I have met with. 
It is a figure of the ascetic Buddha, seated under the Bodhi 
tree at Buddha-Gaya, and surrounded by horrible demons and 
alluring females, who are seeking by different means to 
distract him. On each side other scenes of his life are repre- 
sented, and over all his Nirvan, or death. A large drawing 
of this elaborate piece of sculpture is given by Buchanan.* 
The slab is 15 feet high and 9-| feet broad ; and, consider- 
ing the excellence of the sculpture, the multiplicity of the 
details, and the fine state of preservation, this work is in 
every way worthy of being preserved by photography. The 
figure is called B.ukmini by the ignorant villagers, who daily 
smear its forehead and nose with red lead, and pour milk over 
the mouth. The offering of milk is considered very effica- 
cious ; but the most acceptable offering is a goat ; and at 
the time of my visit, the ground was still wet with the 
blood of a recently killed goat. 

The remains at Baragaon consist of numerous masses of 
brick ruins, amongst which the most conspicuous is a row of 
lofty conical mounds running north and south. These high 
mounds are the remains of gigantic temples attached to the 
famous monastery of Nalanda. The great monastery itself 
can be readily traced by the square patches of cultivation 

* Eastern India, I., Plate XIII. 



amongst a long mass of brick ruins 1,600 feet by 400 feet. 
These open spaces show the positions of the court-yards of 
the six smaller monasteries which are described by Hwen 
Thsang as being situated within one enclosure forming alto- 
gether eight courts. Five of the six monasteries were built 
by five consecutive princes of the same family, and the sixth 
by their successor, who is called King of Central India. No 
dates are given ; but from the total silence of Fa-Hian 
regarding any of the magnificent buildings at N&landa, 
which are so minutely described by Hwen Thsang, I infer 
that they must have been built after A. D. 410. Fa-Hian 
simply states that he came to the hamlet of Nalo, “where 
Sariputra was born,” and this is all that he says of Nalanda. 
But surely if the lofty temple of King Baladitya, which was 
300 feet in height, had then existed, it seems scarcely possi- 
ble that he should not have noticed it. I would, therefore, 
assign the probable date of the temples and monasteries of 
Nalanda to the two centuries between the visits of Fa-Hian 
and Hwen Thsang, or from A. D. 425 to 625. This date is 
further borne out by the fact recorded by Hwen Thsang, that 
the great temple of Baladitya was similar to that near the 
sacred Pipal tree at Buddha-Gaya. Now, as similarity of 
style may generally be taken as denoting proximity of date, 
the erection of Baladitya’s temple at Nalanda may, with 
great probability, be assigned to the same century in which 
the Buddha-Gaya temple was built. As I have already 
shown this to be about A. D. 500, the date of the Nalanda 
temple will lie between A. X). 450 and 550. 

Several inscribed stones lie scattered over the ruins of 
Bahklitya’s monastery. The letters are only mason’s marks, 
but their forms are those of the 6th and 7th centuries. 

To the south of the monastery there was a tank in 
which the dragon, or Naga Nalanda, was said to dwell, 
and the place was named after him Nalanda. There is still 
existing immediately to the south of the ruined monastery 
a small tank called Kargidya JPokhar, which answers exactly 
to the position of the Nalanda tank, and is, I have no doubt, the 
identical pool of the Naga. 

As the people have no particular names for the different 
masses of ruin, but simply call them collectively “ the 
mounds,” I will, for convenience of description, name each of 



the principal masses after the ancient tank on its western 
side. Other mounds will be described with reference to their 
relative positions with respect to the principal ruins. In my 
survey of the ruins, I have also attached a letter of the 
alphabet to each separate mound.* 

Hwen Thsang begins his account with a vihar, or 
temple, just outside the western wall of the monastery, which 
had been erected on a spot where Buddha had dwelt for 
three months, explaining the sublime law for the benefit of 
the gods. This temple I would identify with the ruined 
mound marked A, still 53 feet in height and from 65 to 70 
feet in thickness near the top, and which is situated imme- 
diately to the westward of the ruined monastery. It stands 
to the east of the Punwa tank, and may, therefore, be called 
the Punwa mound. My excavations, which were carried 
down to a depth of 17 feet, exposed the straight walls of a 

To the south, at 100 paces, there was a small stupa, 
erected over a spot where a pious mendicant, from a far 
country, had performed the panclianga, or reverence of the 
five members (namely head, hands, and knees) in honour of 
Buddha. This stupa is well represented by a small 
mound marked B, which is due south of the Punwa mound. 

Still further to the south, there was a statue of Avalokites- 
wara. As this statue must have had some kind of covering 
as a shelter from the weather, I believe that it is repre- 
sented by another small ruined mound, marked C, imme- 
diately to the south of the last. 

To the south of the statue there was a stupa, containing 
the hair and nails of Buddha. Sick people recovered their 
health by making the circuit of this monument. Another 
mound, marked D, to the east of the Bahela tank, corres- 
ponds with the position of this stupa exactly, as it is due 
south of the last mound C. It is still 20 feet high. I made 
an excavation in the top, which showed that the mound had 
been opened previously, as I found nothing but loose rubbish. 
The solid brick-work on all sides, however, satisfied me that 
it was the ruin of an ancient stupa. 

* See Plate XVI. 



Outside tlie western wall of tlie monastery, and close to 
a tank, there was another stupa erected on the spot where 
Buddha had been questioned by a heretic on the subject of 
life and death. A small mound, marked E, on the east bank 
of the Bolen Tank, corresponds exactly with the position of 
this stupa. 

At a short distance to the east there was a lofty vihar, 
200 feet in height, where Buddha had explained the law for 
four months. In the position here indicated, there stands 
the highest and largest of all the mounds, marked E. It is 
still 60 feet in height, with a diameter of 70 feet at 50 feet 
above the ground, and of 80 feet at 35 feet above the ground. 
As the outer edges of the walls are much broken, the original 
size of this massive building at the ground level cannot have 
been much less than 90 feet square. To ascertain its pro- 
bable height, we may compare it with the Great Temple at 
Buddha-Gava, which has a base of 50 feet square, and a 
height of 160 feet. But as the copper-gilt amalakci fruit 
which once surmounted it no longer exists, the original 
height cannot have been less than 170 feet. Now, taking 
the same proportions for the Nalanda temple, we may deduce 
the height by simple rule-of-three, thus as 50 : 170 : : 90 : 306 
feet. It is true that Hwen Thsang states the height at only 
200 feet, hut there is a discrepancy in his statements of the 
height of another Nalanda temple, which leads me to propose 
correcting the height of that now under discussion to 300 
feet. In speaking of the Great Temple erected by Baladitya, 
Hwen Thsang in one place makes it 200 feet high, and in 
another place 300 feet high.* In both accounts the enshrined 
statue is said to he of Buddha himself, as he appeared under 
the Bodhi tree, and, as the other large temple also contained 
a statue of Buddha, it seems highly probable that there has 
been some confusion between the accounts of the two temples. 

I am quite satisfied that the lofty mound marked E. is 
the ruin of a temple, for I discovered three horizontal air 
holes, each in the form of a cross, at a height of 35 feet above 
the ground. They measured respectively 6, 8^, and 11^ feet 
in length. The last measurement, coupled with the broken 
state of the brick-work, shows that the walls must have been 
upwards of 12 feet in thickness. In fact, on the east side, 

* Compare Julien’s Hwen Thsang, I. 160, with III, 50. 



at 50 feet above the ground, the broken wall is still 15 feet 
thick. Most probably the walls were not less than 20 feet 
thick at this height, which would leave an interior chamber 
-30 feet square. There is now a great hollow in the centre of 
this mound, which I would recommend to be farther excavat- 
ed down to the ground level, as I think it highly probable 
that both statues and inscriptions of much interest would be 
discovered. Perhaps the colossal statue of Buddha, the teacher 
now standing at the foot of mound H., may have been 
originally enshrined in this temple.* 

In the north-east corner of the square terrace that sur- 
rounds this massive ruin, I found the remains of several small 
stupas, in dark blue stone of various sizes, from 10 to 30 feet 
in height. The ornamental carvings are still in good order, 
manv of them beiim very elaborate. Rows after rows of 
Buddhas of all sizes are the most favourite decoration. The 
solid hemispherical domes are from 1 foot to 4 feet in diame- 
ter. The basement and body of each stupa were built of 
separate stones, which were numbered for the guidance of 
the builders, and cramped together with iron to secure greater 
durability. No amount of time, and not even an earth- 
quake, could have destroyed these small buildings. Their 
solid walls of iron-bound stones could only have yielded to 
the destructive fury of malignant Brahmans. I tried to com- 
plete a single stupa, but I soon found that several pieces were 
missing. I believe, however, that a complete one might be 
obtained by a careful search about the village temples, around 
the Jain temple, and in the small court-yard opposite Mitra- 
jit’s house. If one could be obtained complete, or nearly so, 
it would form a most striking and ornamental addition to the 
Calcutta Museum. 

* This mound was subsequently excavated by order of Government under the superin- 
tendence of Captain Marshall. The temple stood on a plinth 12 feet high above the ground 
level, forming a terrace 15 feet wide all round. The inner room is 20 feet square, with an en- 
trance hall on the east side. The walls, which are of extreme thickness, are built of large 
bricks laid in mud. There are few remains of plaster, but the lower walls appear to he 
sound, but externally they are much cracked. The remains of the pedestal occupy nearly 
the whole west half of the inner room, but there were no traces of any statues. Pieces 
of broken statues were, however, found in the entrance hall. A portion of the entrance 
is of more modern date, the same as at Bodh-Gaya. Captain Marshall closes his account of 
the explorations with the following opinion, which seems to be well founded : “ The general 
appearance of the building, viz., the false doorway, the abstraction of the idols, and the 
absence of inside plaster, all give me the notion of the building having been made use of 
after the glories of the temple had passed away, and then to have fallen to pieces by ueg- 
lect and consequent decay.” 




A short distance to the north of the Great Vihar, there 
was another temple containing a statue of the Bodhisatwa 
A valokiteswara. This Saint is the same as the JPadma-pani 
of the Tibetans, and is always represented with a lotus in his 
hand. An extensive low mound, marked G., immediately to 
the north of the great mound, corresponds exactly with the 
situation of this temple. 

To the north of the last temple there was a grand vihar, 
built by Baladitya, containing a statue of the ascetic Buddha. 
The height, as I have already noticed, is differently stated by 
Hwen Thsang at 200 and 300 feet. The lesser height *1 
believe to be the correct one, more especially as Hwen Thsang 
mentions that in its magnificence, its size , and its statue of 
Buddha, it resembled the Great Temple at Buddha-Gaya. As 
this last was 170 feet in height, Baladitya’s Vihar might 
very fairly be said to resemble it in size, if it was 200 feet 
high ; but if it was 300 feet in height, there could have been 
no resemblance whatever in the dimensions of a temple that 
was nearly twice as lofty. A mound, marked H., to the east 
of the Debar Tank, corresponds exactly w ith the situation of 
this temple. It is still 45 feet in height, with a breadth of 
50 feet at top from edge to edge of brick-work. As the 
facing has disappeared on all sides, the original breadth, at 
the ground level, could not have been less than 60 feet ; and 
if the relative proportions were the same as those of the 
Buddha-Gaya Temple, the height of this temple must have 
been 204 feet, or say, in round numbers, 200 feet, exactly as 
stated by Hwen Thsang. There is a colossal statue of the 
ascetic Buddha in a small court-yard called Baithak Bhairav 
at the foot of this mound, which, in all probability, was the 
original statue enshrined in Baladitya’s Vihar. 

Dour other buildings and statues, which I have been 
unable to identify, are next mentioned by Hwen Thsang, who 
then goes on to describe a brick vihar containing a very 
lofty copper statue of Tara Bodhisatwa. This was situated at 
2 or 3 li to the north of the monastery, that is, between one- 
third and one-half of a mile. Now, at a distance of 2,000 
feet to the north of the monastery, and to the east of the 
Suraj Pokhar, there is a brick ruin of a very large temple, 
marked N. Prom its close proximity to the village, this 
ruin has supplied materials for all the existing houses, and is 



consequently of mucli smaller dimensions than those which 
have been already described. But the removal of the bricks 
has exposed the actual walls of the temple in several places ; 
and, by making a few excavations, I was able to determine 
the exact dimensions of the base of this temple. It was 70-| 
feet by 67 feet, and it stood on a raised terrace 6 feet in 
height and 125 feet square. If the relative proportion of 
base to height was the same as that of the Buddha-Gaya 
Temple, the height of this temple could not have been less 
than 228 or 240 feet, according to which side of the base is 
taken for the calculation. 

Hwen Thsang also mentions a large well which was just 
within the gateway on the south side of the surrounding walls 
of this vihar. Now, there is a large well, marked P., imme- 
diately on the south side of the ruined mound above describ- 
ed, which must he the very one noticed by Hwen Thsang as 
having owed its origin to Buddha himself. 

There are many other objects worthy of notice at Bara- 
gaon, which I can only briefly enumerate : 1st, The sculptures 
collected in the enclosure at Baithak Bhairav, marked M. 
2nd, The colossal figure of the ascetic Buddha at S. This 
statue is remarkable for having the names of the attendant 
figures inscribed over their heads. Thus we have Ary a 
Sdriputra and Ary a Maudgalayana inscribed over two flying 
figures carrying garlands ; and Ary a Mitreyandtha and Ary a 
Vasumitra over two attendant standing figures. An inscrip- 
tion in two lines on the hack rail of the seat gives the usual 
Buddhist formula, and adds that the statue was “ the pious 
gift; of Ganggakd (a lady who had attained the religious 
rank of paramopasika.) This statue is well worthy of 
being photographed. 3rd, A small temple, marked T., 
with a figure of the three-headed goddess Vajra-Vardhi. 
The Buddhist formula is inscribed on this figure, which is 
evidently one of those mistaken by Major Kittoe for Durga 
slaying the buffalo demon Maheshasur. The goddess has one 
porcine head, and there are seven hogs represented on the 
pedestal. 4th, A life-size ascetic Buddha in the village of 
Baragaon, and a number of smaller figures at an adjacent 
Hindu temple, and also at the house of Mitrajit Zamindar. 
5th, Two low mounds to the north of the village marked V., 
one having a four-armed image of Vishnu on Garud, and t_he 


other having two figures of Buddha seated on chairs. The 
former must clearly have belonged to a Bralimanical temple. 
6tli, Three statues at W., near the Tar Sing Tank, of which 
two are females and one a male figure seated with hands on 
knees. 7th, The small temple in the hamlet of Kapatiya, 
marked X., where there are several interesting figures col- 
lected. Amongst them there is a fine Vajra Yaralii, and 
a very good Vagiswari, with an important inscription in 
two lines, which gives the name of the place Xalanda, and is 
dated in the year 1 of the reign of the paramount sovereign 
Sri Gopala Deva.* 8th, A large mound at Y., which looked 
like a ruined stupa. I sank a shaft 20 feet deep in the centre 
of the mound, and found that it was filled with rubbish. If, 
therefore, it was a stupa, it had been opened long before ; 
but I am inclined to believe that it was a temple, as a large 
stone was found in the excavation at a depth of 13 feet. 
9th, A Jain temple at Z., which is only remarkable as being 
of the same style of architecture as the Great Temple at 
Buddha-Gaya. It is probably of about the same age, or 
A. D. 500. Its present height is only 36 feet without the 
pinnacle, which is modern. The whole is wdiite- washed. 
Inside the temple there are several Jain figures, of which 
that of Mahdvir bears the date of Samvat 1501, or A. D. 
1447. 10th, On the banks of the Suraj-kund many interest- 

ing figures are collected. They are chiefly Buddhist, but 
there are also some figures of Vishnu four-armed, of the 
Varaha Avatar, of Siva and Parvati, and also of Surya 

I cannot close this account of the ancient Nalanda with- 
out mentioning the noble tanks which surround the ruins on 
all sides. To the north-east are the Gidi Pokhar and the 
Pansokar Pokhar, each nearly a mile in length ; while to the 
south there is the Indra Pokhar, which is nearly half a mile 
in length. The remaining tanks are much smaller in size, and 
do not require any special notice. 


The old city of Bihar lies 7 miles to the north-east of 
Baragaon. In our maps the name is spelt Beliar, but by the 
people it is written Bihar, which is sufficient to show that it 

'* See Hate XIII. for a copv of tills inscription. 


Plate XVII. 





v ^ ^ i 

3 fr Left , 

K 'f^\Q ,-w^f^l.,. 

i ascription 









,r-~~jt»ir» rr">' 


, ^ - 

A. Cunningham del. Fhotozmcographea f.t the Surveyor Ununl's Office Calcutta. 


thin piece split off 



must once have been the site of some famous Buddhist Vihar. 
But the only existing Buddhist remains that I could find 
were votive stupas and fragments of figures. One of the last 
was inscribed with characters of about A. I). 900, but the 
inscription is unfortunately only a fragment. 

The city of Bihar consists principally of one long nar- 
row street, paved with rough stones. There are two bridges 
with pointed arches over some irrigation canals, the remains 
of former prosperity ; but the whole place is now dirty and 
decayed. In all directions are seen Musalman tombs ; the 
smaller ones of "brick, the larger ones of squared and carved 
stones from the usual Muhammadan quarries of ruined 
Buddhist or Brahmanical buildings. To the north-west of 
the city there is a long isolated hill, having a precipitously 
steep cliff on its northern face, and ou the southern face an 
easy slope in successive ledges of rock. The hill is now 
crowned by some Musalman buildings, of which the largest 
is said to be the tomb of Malik Baja, but I believe that it is 
the tomb of one Ibrahim in the reign of Biruz, as I read 
both of these names in one of the inscriptions. To the 
north-east of these tombs and distant 1,000 feet, on the 
highest point of the hill, there is a square platform of brick, 
which must once have been the basement of a building, 
perhaps of a stupa, while the more genial site of the Durgah, 
where fine trees are now growing, might once have held a 
Buddhist Vihar and its attendant monastery. 

One mile due east from the Durgah, and about 100 yards 
inside the northern gate of the old fort of Bibar, there lies a 
sand-stone pillar which hears two separate inscriptions of the 
Gupta Dynasty. Unfortunately, the surface of the stone 
has peeled off considerably, so that both of the inscriptions 
are incomplete. The upper inscription, which is of Kumara 
Gupta, has lost both ends of every line, being probably about 
one-tbird of the whole. The lower inscription has lost only 
the left upper corner, and some unknown amount at the 
bottom, where the pillar is broken off. But as the remaining 
portion of the upper part is letter for letter the same as the 
opening of the Bhitari pillar inscription, nearly the whole of 
the missing part of the left upper corner can be restored at 



once.* This record apparently belongs to Skanda Gupta, 
the son and successor of Kurnara Gupta, as the genealogy 
is continued beyond Kurnara in the same words as in the 
Bhitari inscription. 

Outside the northern gate of the old fort, there are some 
tombs that are said to belong to Christians, as they lie east 
and west, whilst all Musalman tombs lie north and south. 
One of them bears an inscription surmounted by a cross, 
which proves it to be a Christian tomb. The inscription I 
believe to be in the Armenian character, but though it does 
not appear to be old, probably not more than fifty or a hun- 
dred years, yet I could not obtain any information regarding 
the tombs. 

The cyclopean walls of the old fort are very curious ; 
but as the fort has been fully described by Buchanan, it is 
unnecessary for me to do more than make this mention of it. 


A Buddliistical inscription from Ghosrawa, a village to 
the S. S. W. of Bihar, distant 7 miles, was first discovered 
by Major Kittoe, who published a translation of it made by 
Dr. Ballantyne. This inscription is a very important one for 
the illustration of the later history of Buddhism, as it men- 
tions the existence, somewhere about the 8th or 9th century, 
of several of the most famous places of the Buddhists. Dor 
instance, it mentions, 1st, the Kanishka Monastery in the 
city of Nagarahara, close to Jelalabad in the Kabul Valley; 
2nd, the Vajrdsan, or Diamond throne of Buddha, at Buddha- 
Gaya; 3rd, the Indra-Sila peak, which I have already iden- 
tified with Giryek ; 4th, the Vihar in Nalanda, the city of 
Yaso Varmma. This part of the translation, however, requires 
revision, as the name of Kalanda, which occurs twice, has 
in both instances been rendered as if it was merely a term 
for some ascetic posture, instead of the proper name of the 

* See Plate XVII. for the Bihar Pillar inscriptions, and Plate XXVII. for the Bhitari 
Pillar inscription. Babu Bajendralal Mitra, in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal 1866, p. 
271, denies the accuracy of my statement. He says “ General Cunningham imagines it 
to be a counterpart of the Bhitari record” — I imagine nothing of the kind. My remarks refer 
to the upper part of the inscription alone, and this I again assert to be “ letter for lettfer 
the same as the opening of the Bhitari Pillar inscription.” The Babu says that “ no specific 
name is legible.” I refer him to his own Nagari transcript of line 4, where he reads kecha- 
potrasya. This should be Jcacha, for Gliatot-kacha, the predecessor of Chandra Gupta, whose 
wife Kurnari Devi is mentioned in the next line. 



town which contained the most famous monastery in all 
India. I will submit this inscription for re-translation. 

The other remains at Gliosrawa are few and unim- 
portant. There is a mound of brick ruin touching the 
village, and a small temple on a low mound with some 
broken figures between Gliosrawa and the small village of 
Asanagar. The inscription obtained by Major Kittoe is 
now fixed in the wall of this temple. At the western foot 
of the Ghosrawa mound there is a four-armed standing male 
statue of life size, inscribed with the usual formula of the 
Buddhist faith. In the upper right hand there is a necklace, 
but the lower hand is open, the upper left hand holds a lotus, 
and the lower hand a bell. There is a small figure of Buddha 
in the head dress of the statue, from which I believe that 
this figure represents Avalokiteswara, as Hwen Tlisang des- 
cribes a similar statue at the Kapotika Sangharama. The 
characters of the inscription do not seem to me to be later 
than A. D. 800. 

On the top of the mound I found the lower portion of 
a female figure, of which the upper part was fixed in the 
ground near the Asanagar Temple. The statue is two-armed, 
and holds a lotus in one hand. It probably represents 
Dharmma. There are two four-armed female attendants, 
that to the left carrying a human head. 


At Titarawa, 2 miles to the north of Ghosrawa, there 
is a fine large tank 1,200 feet in length, with a considerable 
mound of brick ruin to the north, and a colossal statue of 
the ascetic Buddha to the south, which is now called Bhairav. 
The pedestal is 7 feet broad, and the whole figure is still 9 feet 
high, although the upper portion is wanting. The usual 
Buddhist formula is inscribed on the lotus leaves of the 
pedestal. There are besides several others small and unim- 
portant, one of which bears the Buddhist formula, and another 
inscription in three lines of small letters. The greater 
portion of this inscription is injured, but sufficient remains 
to declare the date of the statue, which I believe to be about 
A. D. 800 ; I can read the name of Maliapala at the end 
of it. On the west side of the statue there is the foundation 
of a brick stupa, 18 feet in diameter. 



The mound of Titarawa is about 20 feet high, and has 
a small modem fort on the top, with a round tower at each 
of the angles. Excavations for bricks are still going on, as 
at the period of Major Kittoe’s visit. I traced the remains 
of several walls, from wdiich I infer that the mound was the 
site of a large monastery. There is no mention of this place 
either in Ea-Hian or Hwen Tlisang. 


Eive miles to the east of Ghosrawa, and on the eastern 
hank of the Sakri River, there is a low hill covered with 
brick ruins, close to a village called Aplisar. The long and 
important inscription of a second dynasty of Guptas, that 
was discovered at this place by Major Kittoe, is no longer to 
be found at Aphsar. The people are unanimous in stating 
that Major Kittoe removed it to Nowada for the purpose of 
copying it ; and he himself states that he “ brought it away 
to re-examine it, and to restore it as much as possible before 
having it fixed in a pedestal near the Varaha” in Aphsar. 
I enquired for this inscription at Nowada, at Gaya, and at 
Banaras, but could not hear any thing of it. The loss of 
this important inscription is very much to be regretted ; 
but luckily I possess a transcript of it in modern Nagari, 
which Major Kittoe himself gave me in 1850. This has 
been submitted to Babu Rnjendralal Mitra for translation.* 


At 16 miles to the north of Gaya, or 19 miles by the 
road, there are several groups of granite hills, called Kctmca- 
Dol, Bardtbar, Ndgdrjuni, and Dhardwat . f All of these 
possess some Buddhistic remains, but the most interesting 
are the caves of Bardbar and JSdgarjuni, which were hewn 
out of the solid rock upwards of two thousand years ago. 

Kauwa-JDol is a detached hill nearly one mile to the 
south-west of the main group of hills, and just six miles 

* The Babu’s translation will be found in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal for 1866, 
p. 272. The inscription gives the genealogy of a dynasty of nine Gupta Kings. There is ap- 
parently nothing to guide us in fixing the date, and, in the absence of the original document, 
I can only conjecture that these Guptas are of later date than the well-known Gupta dynasty 
of the Allahabad and Bhitari Pillar inscriptions. I possess gold coins of three later 
Princes, Vishnu, Kumara, and Jaya, who probably belonged to the family of the Aphsar 

f See Plate XVIII. 


Hatty XV HI . 


A Gmrml&giiam. cL(*\ 

Litho. at the Survr. Genl’s Office Ca!. October 1371 

Sketch. "Sfstp 

sho-wmgthe Civei audjtniis 
m th» 

BAKABAH hills 


B ara bar — m. 

A. Kama Chopar Cave. 

B. Sudama Cave. 

C. Lomas Bishi Cave. 

JO. Vistoa Cave. 


E. Nagarjuni Cave , or Gopiya. 
E. Vapiya Cave, and well. 

G. Vadu (hi Cave. 





to tlie east-nortli -east of the Bela Dak Bungalow. This 
hill is quite inaccessible, as it is formed entirely of huge 
masses of granite piled precipitously above one another, 
and crowned with a single lofty block that frowns grandly 
over the plains below. It is said that this pinnacle was 
formerly topped by another block, which was so nicely 
balanced that it used to rock even when a crow alighted 
upon it. Brom this belief the hill acquired the name of 
Kauwa-Dol , or the “ crow’s swing,” or “ rocking-stone.” 

At the northern foot of the Kauwa-Dol there has 
formerly been a temple of hewn granite. A large village 
must also once have existed on the north and east sides of 
the hill, as the foot of the hill, which is considerably raised 
above the fields, is strewn with broken bricks, hewn stones, 
and fragments of pottery. There are several Muhammedan 
tombs on this mound, built chiefly of pillars and other 
squared and ornamented stones of some Hindu temple. 
The name of this old place is said to have been Samanpur. 
Major Kittoe, however, was told that this name applied only 
to the northern portion of the ruins, the eastern portion 
being called Sarain. 

On the rocks of the northern face of the hill, nume- 
rous rude figures have been sculptured. One of these is a 
figure of Ganes, 2-| feet high, beside a lingam. Several of 
them represent Gcmri SanJcar or Hara Gauri ; but the most 
common of these sculptures is the favourite figure of the 
four-armed Durga slaying the Mahesctsur, or Buffalo Demon. 
In her two right hands she holds a sword and a trident, and 
in her upper left hand a shield, while her lower left hand 
grasps the tail of the Buffalo. All of these are Brahmanical 
figures ; but there are also rude figures of Buddha seated, 
and one female figure which is said to be Paclmavati, or 
Mayd Devi, but which is most probably only a representation 
of Dharmma. In a recess on the east side of the hill, and 
amidst the ruins of a large temple, of which several pillars 
are still standing, there is a colossal figure of Buddha the 
ascetic, as he appeared when seated in mental abstraction 
under the Bodhi tree at Buddha-Gaya. A drawing of this 
figure has been given in Buchanan Hamilton’s Eastern 
India.* It is the largest statue that I have seen, the figure 

* Vol. I., Plate XIV., Fig. 5. 




alone being 8 feet high, with a breadth across the shoulders 
of four feet, and of sis feet across the knees. But the great 
statue in the temple of Buddha-Gaya, which was seen and 
described by Hwen Thsang, was somewhat more than one- 
third larger, its dimensions being 11 feet 5 inches in 
height, 8 feet 8 inches in breadth across the knees, and 6 
feet 6 inches across the shoulders. 

In the Barahar group of hills there are several distinct 
peaks, of which the most conspicuous are the Murali Peak 
to the north, and the Sanda Giri on the south, both of which 
join the Barahar or Siddhesivara Peak on the east. On the 
summit of the Barahar Peak there is a small Hindu temple 
dedicated to Mahadeva, which contains a lingam called 
Siddheswara, and which, from an inscription in one of the 
caves mentioning this name, we know to he at least as old as 
the 6th or 7th century. Immediately to the south of the 
Barahar Peak there lies a small valley, or hasin, nearly square 
in shape, and entirely surrounded by hills, except at two points 
on the north-east and south-east, where walls have been built 
to complete the enclosure. Its greatest length, measured 
diagonally from peak to peak, is just half a mile, hut the 
actual basin is not more than 400 yards in length by 250 
yards in breadth.* 

Towards the southern corner of the basin, there are two 
small sheets of clear water, which find an outlet under ground 
to the south-east and re-appear in the sacred spring called 
Fatal Ganna, where an annual assembly is held in the month 
of Bliddrapada for the purpose of bathing. On this side is 
the principal entrance to the valley, which lies over large 
rounded masses of granite, now worn smooth and slippery by 
the feet of numerous pilgrims. I ascended by this path with- 
out any difficulty, after having taken off my shoes, but in 
descending I found a shorter and quicker way down the mass 
of loose rough stones at the foot of the enclosure wall on the 
same side. These stones are the ruins of buildings which 
once crowned the wall on this side. 

Immediately to the south of the water, and in the south- 
ern angle of the valley, there is a low ridge of granite rock 
lying from west to east, about 500 feet long, from 100 to 120 

* See Plate XVIII. 



feet thick, and from 30 to 35 feet in height. The top of the 
ridge is rounded, and falls rapidly towards the east. It is 
divided longitudinally by natural cleavage into three separate 
masses. The block towards the north is much the smallest, 
being not more than 50 feet long by 27 feet in thickness. 
Originally it was probably about 80 or 100 feet in length, but 
its eastern end has been cut away to obtain access to the face 
of the central mass of rock, in which the Karna-Choipdr 
Cave has been excavated. A lingam and two rude Brahrna- 
nical figures are sculptured on the end of the northern rock. 
The middle rock is between 200 and 300 feet in length, 
with a perpendicular face towards the north. The 
largest mass of rock which faces towards the south 
is rounded at top, but the lower part has been scarped 
to form a perpendicular wall for the two large caves now 
called Sudama and Lomas Bishi. A level piece of ground, 
about 100 feet in width, intervenes between this great rock 
and the foot of the southern hill. Sheds and temporary build- 
ings are erected on this spot during the annual fair time, 
when the caves are visited by thousands of pilgrims. The 
ground is strewn with broken bricks and fragments of pottery, 
and the rubbish has now accumulated to a height of three feet 
above the floors of the caves. This will account for the fact 
of there having been one foot of water in this cave when 
visited by Buchanan. The water was drained away by Major 
Kittoe, who dug a trench along the foot of the rock, and 
brought to light several pieces of stone pillars w r hich pro- 
bably belonged to some portico or cloister in front of the 

The Barabar Basin is naturally a strong defensive 
position, as it possesses plenty of water, and is only 
accessible at two points, on the north-east and south-east. 
Now, both of these points have been closed by walls, 
and as there are also traces of walls on the surrounding 
hills, and more particularly on the Siddheswara Hill, it 
seems certain that the place must once have been used as 
a stronghold. There is indeed a tradition of some Baja 
having been besieged in this place, and that he escaped by 
the narrow passage over the Siddheswara Hill. Its very 
name of Barabar, that is, bara and awara, or Barawara , the 
“ great enclosure,” points to the same conclusion, although 
this may have been originally applied to the much larger 



enclosure between tbe Barabar and Nagarjuni Hills, and the 
western branch of the Phalgu Biver, where, according to 
Buchanan’s information, the original Bam Gaya was situated. 
The numerous heaps of brick and stone that lie scattered over 
the plain would seem to show that this had once been the 
site of a large town. The situation is similar to that of old 
Baja-griha, namely, that of a small valley or basin almost 
surrounded by hills ; but in size it is very much less than 
the famous Girivraja , or hill-encircled city of Jarasandha. 
This enclosure had the Barabar Hill on the west, the San gar 
branch of the Phalgu River on the east, and the two parallel 
ridges of the Nagarjuni Hills to the north and south. It was 
upwards of one mile in length, with a mean width of half a 
mile and a circuit of rather more than three miles. The 
circuit of the hills surrounding old Baja-griha was about 
eight miles. 

The caves in the Barabar Hills are usually known as the 
Sat-ghara, or “ seven houses.” Major Kittoe proposed Sapt- 
garbha , or the “ seven caves” as the true name ; but I think 
that Sapta-griha, or, as it is pronounced in the vernacular of 
the present day, Sat-ghara , is a preferable etymology, as it 
is the very same name by which this collection of caves is 
now known. 

The Nagarjuni Hills consist of two very narrow ridges 
of granite running nearly parallel, and about half a mile 
distant from each other, between the Barabar Peak and the 
Phalgu Biver. The northern ridge would appear to be the 
same as that which Buchanan calls Murali ,* but my inform- 
ants applied this name to another peak in the Barabar group. 
The southern ridge contains the famous old caves, of which the 
largest one, called the Gopi Cave, is on the southern side, with 
its entrance to the south. The two other caves are situated 
on the southern face of a small spur, or off-shoot, on the nor- 
thern side of the hill. 

There are, therefore, altogether seven caves in these hills> 
four of which belong to the Barabar or Siddheswara group, 
and three to the JSldgarjuni group. I incline, therefore, to 
believe that the name of Sat-ghara, or the “ seven houses,” 
belonged originally to the whole of these seven caves, and not 

* Eastern India, Vol. I., p. 100. 

B A R A B A R 

Plate XIX 



A. Cunrung-lrutm. del 

■LitV S nrv- uen 1 3 Ol'iHcc Gal- June 1871 



to the four caves with seven chambers in the Barabar group. 
It is true, indeed, that the Barabar caves are somewhat older 
than those of Nagarjuni, hut the difference of date is very 
little, being not more than 30 years, as will be shown when I 
come to speak of the inscriptions. 

The Kama Chop dr Cave, marked A. in the map, is 
situated in the northern face of the Barabar ridge of granite, 
which has already been described. The entrance, which is of 
Egyptian form, faces the north. The cave is 33 feet Ga- 
niches in length, by 14 feet in width.* The sides of the 
cave are 6 feet inch in height, and the vaulted roof has a 
rise of 4 feet 8 inches, making the total height 10 feet 9 
inches. At the western end there is a raised platform 7 feet 
G inches long, 2 feet 6 inches broad, and 1 foot 3 inches high. 
Erom its length I infer that this was the pedestal of a statue. 
The whole of the interior of the cave is polished. On the 
outside, and at the western corner of the entrance, there is a 
sunken tablet containing a short inscription of five lines in 
the ancient character of Asoka’s Pillars. It records the ex- 
cavation of the cave in the 19th year of the reign of Ilaja 
JPiyadasi, that is, of Asoka himself, f This cave, therefore, 
dates as far back as 245 B. C. The inscription has been so 
much injured by the weather, that it is very difficult to make 
out the letters satisfactorily. It also faces the north, so that 
no advantage can be obtained from the difference of light 
and shade which is caused by the sun in the hollows of the 
letters of such inscriptions as face in other directions. There 
are also several short inscriptions on the jambs of the door- 
way, such as Bodhimula “the root of Intelligence,” Daridra, 
kdntdra “ the cave of the poor,” or “ the mendicant’s cave,” 
and others the records of mere visitors. 

The Sudama Cave, marked B. in the map, is situated in 
the same granite range, but on the opposite side of it, and 
with its entrance facing the south. The door-way, which 
is of Egyptian form, is sunk in a recess 6^ feet square 
and 2 feet deep. On the eastern wall of this recess or 
porch, there is an inscription of two lines in the ancient Pali 
characters of Asoka’s Pillars. An attempt has been made to 
obliterate the greater part of this inscription with a chisel, 

* See Plate XIX , Fig. 1, for plan and section, 
t See Plate XX., No. 1 Inscription. 



but owing to the great depth of the letters the work of des- 
truction was not an easy one, and the clearly cut lines of the 
original letters, w T ith the exception of one, perhaps, at the 
end, are still distinctly traceable in the midst of the rough 
holes made by the destroyer’s chisel. This inscription re- 
cords the dedication by Raja Piyadasi (that is, Asoka him- 
self), in the 12th year of his reign, of the Nigoha cave.* 
The excavation of this cave, therefore, dates as far back as 
252 B. C., the very same year in which many of Asoka’s 
edicts were promulgated, as recorded in his different inscrip- 
tions both on pillars and rocks. The cave itself consists of 
two chambers, of which the inner one is nearly circular with 
a hemispherical domed roof. This roof, which projects 
beyond the wall of the circular room into the outer apart- 
ment, is considerably under-cut, as if to represent a thatch 
with its overhanging caves. The circular room is 19 feet 11 
inches in diameter from west to east, and 19 feet from north 
to south. The outer apartment is 32 feet 9 inches in length, 
by 19 feet 6 inches in breadth. The walls are 6 feet 9 inches 
in height to the springing of the vaulted roof, which has a 
rise of 5 feet 6 inches, making the total height of the cham- 
ber 12 feet 3 inches. At the east end of this apartment 
there is a shallow recess which may have been intended as a 
niche for a statue, or more probably as an entrance to another 
projected chamber. But the work was abandoned soon after 
its commencement, and remains rough and unfinished, 
while all the rest of the cave, both roof and walls, is highly 

The Lomas JRishi Cave, marked C. in the map, is similar 
to the Sudama Cave, both as to the size and arrangement of 
its two chambers ; but the whole of the interior of the 
circular room has been left rough, and both the floor and the 
roof of the outer apartment remain unfinished. J The straight 
w r alls of this apartment are polished, hut the outer wall of the 
circular room is only smoothed and not polished. The chisel 
marks are yet visible on the floor, while on the roof, which 
has only been partially hewn, the cuts of the chisels, both 
broad and narrow, are still sharp and distinct. The excava- 
tion of the roof would appear to have been abandoned, owing 

* See Plate XX., No. 2 Inscription. 

t See Plate XIX., Fig. 2. 

% See Plate XIX., Fig. 3. 


Plate XX 



IV. Gopika, or Nagaijuni. 

I. Kama Chopar, at A. 

| qA^° 

V. Vapiya, or Well Cave. 

^ STS A 5L $ 

<*>'»** ii-o 


II. Sudama, at B. 

^'4” ^ Sv 1 ^ ^ 

VI. Vadathi Cave. 


8tsT$®«S&3«& *! 

III. Viswamitra, at P. 

i*****^,*-^* a*® |d 

8 * 0 J °°°<$ 

Ag & 4 CrxT JX 4* (^6A ^ 


lagarjum Cave 


W <S <£§1 3^$, «- 
™. ^J^pLo 1 3 i Jr ^ 2rftfoVa*j 

a 1 fcflZq: *)? a 2 hv f ^jcjus't : b ^<S(^^c{XfX 

-■ rzl^wjy]^- o jtfJhSrw^^iO^^-A, 

x. gs^v^flfta ,i. ^7 (TT)^- j 


0 XIV T%W 

Photnziacographed. at the Surveyor General's Office Calcutta. 

A. Cunrunguam, del 



to the work having reached a deep fissure, which forms one 
of the natural lines of cleavage of the rock. It possesses no 

The door- way of this cave is exactly of the same size 
and of the same Egyptian form as that of the Sudama Cave, 
hut the entrance porch has been much enlarged, and has been 
sculptured to represent what I believe to be the ornamental 
entrance of a wooden building. A tolerably faithful sketch 
of this entrance will be found in Buchanan,* but owing to the 
accumulation of rubbish at the time the sketch was taken, 
the full height of the work is not shown. The incriptions 
also are represented as extending below the top of the door- 
way on one side, which is not the case, as they are all con- 
fined to the semi-circular space above the door. This sketch, 
however, shows distinctly the ends of the roofing beams and 
the bambu lattice work of the gable, just such as may still 
be seen in the wooden buildings of Barmah. 

As the inscriptions over the door-way of this cave are all 
in the same character as those of the later princes of the 
Gupta dynasty, the date of this sculptured fagade may be 
assigned to the 3rd or 4th century of our era. But as the 
cave itself corresponds so exactly, both in size and in 
arrangements, with the Sudama Cave, I feel satisfied that it 
must have been excavated at the same time, and that, before 
the enlargement of the entrance porch, there must have 
existed an inscription of Asoka, recording the name and 
purpose of the cave. The present inscriptions are deeply 
and boldly cut, but the letters are not polished. There are 
two distinct inscriptions, the upper one, of two lines, being 
somewhat later in date than the lower one, of four lines, in 
rather larger letters. Both of these inscriptions have been 
translated by James Prinsep,f who, owing perhaps to the mis- 
placement of the lines of his fac-similis, did not perceive 
that translations of both had already been published by 
Wilkins in the second volume of the Asiatic Researches. 
There is some variation in the two versions of these inscrip- 
tions, which will be examined hereafter. 

The fourth cave of the Barabar group is that which is 
called Visiva Mitra by Major Kittoe, but which was named 

# Eastern India, Vol. I., p. 104. 

+ Bengal^ Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1837, p. 647. 



simply Fiswa-jhopri, or “ Vista’s liut,” by my informants. 
This cave, marked D. in the map, is excavated in a large block 
of granite lying to the eastward of the cave ridge and at a 
somewhat lower level. It consists of two rooms, an outer 
apartment or ante-chamber which is polished throughout, and 
an inner apartment of 11 feet in diameter, which is rough 
and unfinished. The former is 14 feet long by 8 feet 4 inches 
broad, and has an inscription on the right hand wall of four 
lines in the ancient Pali character of Asoka’s inscriptions. 
The last five letters have been purposely mutilated with the 
chisel, but they are still quite legible.* The inscription, 
which is otherwise perfect, records the dedication of the cave 
by Raja JPiyadcisi (that is, Asoka himself,) in the 12tli year of 
his reign, equivalent to 252 B. C. This is the only inscription 
in this cave which would seem to have escaped the notice of 
the Brahmanical occupants or visitors of the other caves. 
On the floor of this outer chamber there are four oblong 
socket holes, which would appear to have been intended for 
the reception of timber framing, as suggested by Major 

The great cave in the N&garjuni Hill, marked E. in the 
map, is excavated in the southern face of the rock, at a 
height of 50 feet above the country. It is approached by 
a flight of stone steps, but the entrance is concealed partly 
by a tree and partly by an Idgdh wall, which was built 
by the last Musalman occupants. It was inhabited when 
visited by Major Kittoe in 1847, but was empty when I 
saw it. This cave is 46 feet 5 inches long and 19 feet 2 
inches broad, both ends being semi-circular. The walls 
are 6 feet 6 inches high, and the vaulted roof has a rise of 
4 feet, making a total height of 10 feet 6 inches. f The 
whole of the interior is polished, but quite plain. There 
is a low brick platform of modern date at one end, which is 
said to have been the seat of a Musalman Saint, who was the 
disciple and successor of Haji Harmayan. The door- way of 
the cave is of Egyptian form, being two feet 6 inches wide at 
top, and 2 feet 1T| inches at bottom, with a height of G feet 
and half an inch. On the eastern jamb of the door-way 
there is an inscription in ten lines of the same family and 
same date as those over the door-way of the Lomas Bislii 

* See Plate XX., No. 3 Inscription. 

t See Plate XIX., Fig. 5. 



Cave. This inscription has been translated by Wilkins and 
by James Prinsep.* * * § On the western jamb of the door there 
is a short inscription in large letters of the 7th or Stli century. 
Ac h dry a Sri Yogananda, “ the teacher Sri Yogananda,” whose 
name will be found repeated in another cave.f 

On the outside, immediately over the door-way, there 
is a small sunken tablet, containing a short inscription of 
four lines in the ancient Pali characters of Asoka’s edicts. 
This has been translated by James Prinsep. $ The cave is 
called Gopi-ka-kubha, that is, the “ Gopi’s or milkmaid’s 
Cave.” The inscription records that “ The Gopi’s Cave, an 
abode lasting as the Sun and Moon, was caused to be exca- 
vated by Dasaratha, beloved of the Devas, on his accession 
to the throne, as a hermitage for the most devoted Bhadantas 
(Buddhist ascetics). Ӥ 

The other two caves of the Nagarjuni Group are situated 
in a low rocky ridge on the northern side of the hill. To 
the south, aud in front of the caves, there are two raised 
terraces. The lower one to the eastward has a well, 9 feet 
in diameter and 23 feet deep, immediately in front of the 
entrance to the eastern cave, which in the inscription is 
called the “ Vapiya-ka-lcubha, or “ Vapiya Cave,” which I 
believe refers to the well (vapij above described, and which 
may, therefore, be translated as the “ Well Cave.” The 
upper terrace to the westward is 120 feet long from north to 
south. 60 feet broad from west to east, and 10 feet in height 
above the plain. The walls are chiefly of brick, but there 
are several squared stones and granite pillars near the top. 
These must, I think, have been added afterwards by the 
Muhammedans when they occupied the caves, for the platform 
is covered with their small tombs. All around there are 
heaps of bricks and fragments of carved and squared stones 
which show that several buildings must once have existed in 
this place. The upper platform I believe to have been the 
site of a vihar or Buddhist chapel monastery, but there is 
nothing now remaining to prove any Buddhist occupation, 
excepting only one fragment of a standing statue. 

* See Asiatic Researches, I., 282 ; and Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1837, p. 672. 

t See Plate XX., No. 7 Inscription. 

£ Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1837, p. 677. 

§ See Plate XX., No. 4 Inscription. 




The Vapiya Cave, marked P. in the map, has a small 
porch or ante-chamber, 6 feet long by 5-| feet broad, from 
which a door-way only 2 feet 10 inches wide leads to the 
principal room, which is 16 feet 9 inches long and 11 feet 3 
inches broad. The roof is vaulted, and 10 feet 6 inches in 
total height, The whole of the walls are highly polished. 
On the left hand side of the porch there is an inscription of 
four lines in the old Pali characters of Asoka’s edicts.* 
In this record the cave is called, as already mentioned, the 
Vapiya-ka-kublia, or “ the Well Cave,” in evident allusion to 
the well in front of it. The remainder of the inscription is 
word for word the same as that of the Gopi’s Cave. There 
are several short inscriptions on the side walls of the porch 
and on the jambs of the door-way, but they are of little 
interest, as they merely record the names of visitors. The 
longest of them reads — 

Achdrya Sri Yogananda pranamati Siddheswara, “The 
teacher Sri Yogananda offers adoration to Siddheswara.”f 
In this inscription we find the name of the lingam now exist- 
ing in the temple of the Barabar Peak, recorded in characters 
of the 6th or 7th century. James Prinsep refers them to the 
6th century. A still older inscription, Videsa Vasusya 
Kirttili, or “ the renown of Vasu of Videsa,” belongs to the 
age of the Guptas. According to Buchanan, this cave is 
called Mvrza Mandai , or the “Mirza’s house.” 

The third cave of the Nagarjuni Group, marked G. in the 
map, is situated immediately to the westward of the last 
cave, in a gap or natural cleft of the rock, which has pro- 
bably been enlarged by art. The entrance to the cave lies in 
this gap facing the east. It is a mere passage, only 2 feet 
10 inches in width and 6 feet 1^ inch in height, with a 
length of 7 feet 2 inches on the northern side, and of 5 feet 
9 inches on the southern side. There are socket holes both 
above and below for the reception of a wooden door. The 
cave itself is 16 feet 4 inches by 4 feet 3 inches ; but it has 
been divided into two rooms by a rude brick wall. This 
must have been the work of some ascetic of former days, as 
the only opening to the inner room appears to be too small 
for the passage of any grown-up mar, and could only have 

* See Plate XX., No. 5 Inscription, and Plate XIX., Fig. 6, for plan. 

t See Plate XX., No. 8 Inscription. 



been used by the occupant for the reception of food. On the 
right hand jamb of the door-way there is an inscription 
of four lines in the old Pali characters of Asoka’s edicts, in 
which this cave is called the Vadathi-ka-kubha. The re- 
mainder of the record is letter for letter the same as those of 
the Gopi and Vapiya Caves. The meaning of the name of 
Vadathi I am not able to explain. The root vada means to 
separate or divide, to surround or encompass, and also to 
cover. Any one of these meanings might be appropriately 
applied as descriptive of the peculiar position of this cave, 
for it is entirely separated from the other cave ; it is encom- 
passed by the bluff rocks of the gap in which it is situated, 
and is so effectually covered or screened from view, that it 
altogether escaped the notice of Mr. Hathorne when he 
made copies of the inscriptions in the Gopi and Vapiya caves 
for James Prinsep. I think, therefore, that the term 
“ secluded” would be descriptive of the position of the cave, 
and I would suggest that Vadatliika may probably be a 
vernacular form of vada + arthika, the whole meaning 
simply the cave of the “ secluded mendicants.” According to 
Buchanan, this cave is called the abode of Haji War may an* 

Prom the foregoing account of the Barabar caves, it will 
be seen that the two groups are separated by date as well as 
by position, the Satghara caves having been excavated in the 
12tli and 19th years of Baja Diyadisi (or Asoka) while 
those of Nagarjuni were excavated in the first year of 
Dasaratlia , the beloved of the Devas. According to the 
Vishnu Purina, Dasaratlia was the grandson of Asoka, and 
the son of Suyasas ; and as the son of Asoka, according to the 
Vaya Purana, reigned only eight years, the accession of 
Dasaratlia must have taken place in 214 B. C. The age of 
the Nagarjuni caves is, therefore, 3L years later than that 
of the Karna-chopar, and 38 years later than that of the 
Sudama and Viswa Caves. 

Prom the various inscriptions we learn that these caves 
have been successively occupied by Buddhists and by 
Brahmanists. They were originally excavated for the occu- 
pation of Buddhist monks by the Kings Asoka and Dasaratlia 
in the third century before Christ. About the third or fourth 
century after Christ, the Kings Sardula Varmma and Ananta 
Varinma, placed Brahmanical images of Deva-matd, of 

* Sec Plate XIX., Fig. 7, for plan, and Plate XX., No. 6, for inscription. 



Katyayani , and of Mahadeva and his wife in three of the 
caves. At a somewhat later date, in the sixth or seventh cen- 
tury, the teacher Yogananda recorded his adoration of the Sid- 
dheswara ling am. This occupation by Brahmans in the seventh 
century may account for the silence of the Chinese pilgrim 
Hwen Thsang regarding the caves, which, as being in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Gaya, would otherwise have 
attracted his attention. At a still later date, somewhere about 
the twelfth century, the Jogi-Karmamarga and the pilgrim 
JBhayankara JS'dtha visited the caves and inscribed their 
names.* Still later, the Nagarjuni caves were occupied by 
Musalman Pakirs. The Idgah outside the Gopi Cave is said 
to be only 150 years old, but the numerous graves on the 
raised terrace in front of the Vapiya Cave would seem to 
denote a much longer occupation of probably not less than 
300 or TOO years. 

During this successive occupation, the caves would 
appear to have received new names, as not one of the ancient 
names recorded in the inscriptions has been preserved. 
Indeed, the most ancient names would seem to have been lost 
at a very early date, for the Gopi Cave of Dasaratlia is desig- 
nated by Ananta Yarmma as “ this cavern of the Vindhya 
mountains,” and the Vadathi Cave is called simply “ this 
Cave,” as if the ancient names had already been forgotten. 
Similarly, the Lomos Bislii Cave is called JPravara-giri-gnhci, 
or “ the great mountain cave.” Prom these instances, I would 
infer that the present names cf the caves are all of later date 
than the time of Ananta Yarmma in the third or fourth cen- 
tury. That they were also of Brahmanical origin seems to me 
to be quite certain for the following reasons : Karna-chopar 
I take to be simply Karna-jhopra, or “ Kama’s Hut,” so named 
after Kama, King of Angga, the illegitimate son of Pritha, 
the mother of the Pandus. Similarly, Lomas Lis hi, who 
was described to Buchanan as a “ very hairy saint,” is no 
doubt the same as Loma-pada or “ hairy foot,” who was also 
one of the Kings of Angga (or Bliagalpur). But as Loma- 
pada is only a descriptive appellation of a Prince whose 
tiue name was Dasaratlia, it would seem as if the name of 

* See Plate XX., D and B inscriptions from the Vapiya or Well Cave. The other 
inscriptions given in the same Plate are short desultory records of little importance. 
No. 16, daridra-kuntdra, “ the cave of poverty,” and Nos. 18 and 19, klesa-kuntura, “ the 
cave of affliction,” no doubt refer to Buddhism, and show that these caves were inhabited, 
or at least visited, by Buddhist votaries as late as the third or fourth century A . I). 



Dasaratha, the founder of the three Nagarjuni Caves, had ac- 
tually been preserved down to a comparatively late period, and 
was then ignorantly referred by the Brahmans to the early king 
of Angga, instead of to the Maury a Prince of Magatha. Re- 
garding the name of Sudama or Sudhama, I am unable to 
offer any conjecture ; hut Viswamitra was one of the most 
celebrated of the seven Iiisliis, or great Brahmanical Saints. 

The silence of Hwen Tlisang regarding the caves has 
been already noticed ; hut I have a suspicion that he had heard 
of the celebrated spring of the Fatal Gangd at the foot of the 
Barabar Hill. According to his account, there was a famous 
spring of pure water situated at 30 li (or 5 miles) to the north 
of Gaya.* Now, as I could not hear of any spring to the 
northward of Gaya nearer than Barabar, I would suggest 
that Hwen Thsang’s distance of 3<> li should be corrected to 
130 li (or 21§ miles), which would make his famous spring 
agree exactly with the position of the Fatal Ganga, accord- 
ing to the distance by road, which is 13 miles to the Bela 
Dak Bungalow + 6 to the Kauwa-Dol Hill + 2 more to the 
Patal Ganga. Hwen Thsang adds that “the Indians, follow- 
ing an ancient tradition, called this spring the ‘holy water’ 
(l’eau sainte), and that at all times whoever drank of it, or 
bathed in it, was instantly purified from the stain of his sins.” 
Now the source of the Patal Ganga is still held in such esteem 
that, according to Buchanan, from 20,000 to 50,000 people 
assemble annually in the middle of the month of Bhadrapada 
to bathe in its waters, and about 500 people bathe daily 
during the whole of that month. 

Should this identification be correct, it would seem to 
he almost certain that towards the middle of the seventh cen- 
tury of our era, not only were these caves occupied by the 
Brahmans, but the very memory of their Buddhist origin 
had either been forgotten or was carefully concealed. 


The Fharawat group of hills lies immediately to the 
northward of the Barabar hills, about 1^ mile distant. There 
are two distinct ridges running from west to east, that to the 

Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 455. 



south being nearly two miles in length -with three peaks 
named Saleya, Gureya , and Dhaoli* The nearest road from 
Bara bar to Dharawat lies through a pass between the Gureya 
and Dhaoli Hills. The northern ridge consists of a single 
hill named Ratani, which in former clays was occupied by 
some establishment of the Buddhists. On the northern slope 
of the hill there are two brick terraces which have been built 
up against the rock. The eastern terrace is 60 feet long by 
20 feet broad, and 50 feet above the plain. Near the top the 
solid brick-work can still be seen for 20 feet in height, below 
which the brick rubbish reaches to the foot of the hill. The 
second terrace lies more than 200 feet to the westward of 
the other ; it has a front of 250 feet, but its height is not 
more than 15 feet above the plain. On this terrace there are 
two broken Buddhist figures, and beneath it there are four 
others, of which one bears the usual Buddhist formula of 
“ Ye Dliarmma hetu prabhava , &c.,” in characters of the 
9th or 10th century. 

To the north of the Batani Hill there is a large tank called 
Chandokhar Tal, 2,000 feet in length and 800 feet in width. 
On the eastern embankment there is a new temple to Maha- 
deva, only three years old, and close beside it a very small 
old temple to Narsingh. Outside this temple there is a very 
fine life-size statue named Bhairav. The figure stands under 
a thick stem of lotus which forms an arch overhead, and from 
which little curling branches strike off on both sides, ending 
in lotus flowers which support tiny figures of men, women, 
and animals. The statue has twelve arms, and bears in the 
head-dress a small figure of Buddha squatted with hands in 
lap. I recognized it at once as a statue of the famous 
Dodhisatwa Avalokitesivara. Beside the statue, there are 
several sculptured stones containing rows of Buddhas, and 
also several fragments of votive stupas, and two slabs with 
representations of the Nava-graha, or “ nine planets.” There 
are also numerous fragments of sculpture under a Pipal tree 
close by, two of which bear inscriptions in characters of the 
9th or 10th century. 

To the north-east of the Chandokhar Tal there is an ex- 
tensive mound of brick ruin, which is probably only the 
remains of the former town of Dharawat. In the north-west 

* See Plate No. XVIII. 



corner of this mound there are two small eminences, which 
may be the remains of temples, hut as the surface of the 
mound now presents nothing hut small fragments of bricks, 
all the larger hricks having been removed to furnish materials 
for the present village, it is quite impossible to say what kind 
of buildings may once have stood upon it. All that can he 
inferred, I think, from the present remains is, that Dliarawat 
must at one time, probably about the 8th or 9th century, 
have been the seat of a considerable Buddhist community. 
Major Kittoe paid a hurried visit to Dliarawat hv moon-light. 
He notices the twelve-armed figure, which he calls a Buddhist 
sculpture, as being very remarkable. 


The village of Besarh, or Besddh in Nagari characters, is 
situated 27 miles, a little to the east of north from Patna, and 
20 miles from Hajipur on the left hank of the Ganges. Both 
the distance and direction from Patna point to this place as the 
representative of the ancient Vaisali. The name also is the 
same, as it is written Besarh by Ahul Pazl in his Ain 
Akbari.* Now, Hwen Thsang places the King’s Palace in 
Vaisali at 120 li, or 20 miles, to the east of north from the 
northern hank of the Ganges opposite Pataliputra, that is, 
from the present Hajipur. f He also describes the King’s 
Palace as being from 4 to 5 li (from 3,500 to 4,400 feet) in 
circuit, which agrees with the size of the ruined fort now 
called Baja Bisal-ka-garh, which is 1,580 feet long and 750 
feet broad inside, or 4,660 feet in circuit round the crest of the 
mound. This almost perfect coincidence of name, position, 
and dimensions, seems quite sufficient to place the identifi- 
cation of Besarh with Vaisali beyond all reasonable doubt. 
I will, therefore, now proceed to describe the objects of interest 
that still remain in Besarh and the neighbouring village of 
Bakhra, which will afford further proof of the identity of 
Besarh and Vaisali. 

These ruins were visited by Mr. J. Stephenson in 1834, 

I and described by him in Prinsep’s Journal.* They consist 
of two distinct groups, one at Besarh itself, and the other 

J — — 

* Gladwin’s Translation, II., 198. 

+ Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 399. To Swetapura 90 li, plus 30 li to the Ganges. In 
Vol. I., p. 137, the distance to Swetapura is stated to be 100 li. 

£ Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1833, p. 128. 



2 miles to tlie north -north-west of Besarh, and 1 mile to the 
south-east of Baklira. But the whole of these must have 
belonged to the ancient Vaisali, as Hwen Tlisang describes 
the old foundations of the city, although even then much 
ruined, as occupying a circuit of from 60 to 70 li, or from 
10 to 12 miles. Now, an oblong square, 3^ miles from 
north to south, and 2\ miles from west to east, making a 
circuit of exactly 12 miles, would include both Baklira and 
Besarh and all the remains that are at present traceable. 
This of itself would be sufficient to show that the Baklira 
ruins must have formed part of the ancient Vaisali; hut the 
fact will he placed byond all doubt when I come to describe 
the ruins themselves, which correspond in the most remark- 
able manner with the minute details recorded by Hwen 

The remains at Besarh consist of a large deserted fort, 
and a ruined brick stupa. The fort is a large brick covered 
mound of earth, 1,580 feet long from north to south, and 750 
feet broad from west to east, measured from edge to edge.* 
It has round towers at the four corners, and the whole is 
surrounded by a ditch which was full of water at the time 
of my visit. The ruined ramparts along the edge, and the 
four towers at the comers, are somewhat higher than the 
mass of the mound, which has a general elevation of from 
6 to 8 feet above the country. The height of the north-west 
bastion I found by measurement to be 12 feet above the fields, 
and 15 feet above the bottom of the ditch, where it was dry. 
The main entrance was in the middle of the south face, where 
there still exists a broad embankment across the ditch, as well 
as a passage through the rampart. In the northern face there 
was probably only a postern gate, as there is no passage 
through the rampart, and no trace of any embankment across 
the ditch, excepting the fact that the only dry part of the 
ditch is on this face. The only building within the fort is a 
small brick temple of modem date. 

Outside the south-west angle of the fort, and about 1,000 
feet distant, there is a ruined mound of solid brick-work, 23 
feet 8 inches in height above the fields. The whole of the 
top has been levelled for the reception of Musalman tombs, 
of which the largest, ascribed to Mir Abdal, is said to be 500 

* See Plate No. XXI. 



years old. Mr. Steplienson gives tlie name of the Saint as 
Mir Abdullah, and the age of the tomb as 250 years. My 
informant was the Musalman whom I found in charge of the 


tomb. On the south edge of the mound there is a magnifi- 
cent wide-spreading Banian Tree, supported on numerous 
trunks, which shades the whole of the tombs. On the same 
side also a flight of steps leads down to the village of Besarh. 
This brick mound is the ruin of one of the stupas, or solid 
towers of Yaisali, of which so many are described by Hwen 
Thsang. “ Both within and without and all round the town 
of Vaisali,” says he, “ the sacred monuments are so many 
that it would be difficult to enumerate them.”* He has, 
however, described a few of them, which were situated to the 
south of the town, one of which, I have no doubt, is the solid 
brick mound that now bears the tomb of the Musalman 
Saint, Mir Abdal. 

At a short distance to the south of the town, there was a 
vihar, and also a stupa in the garden which Amradarika had 
presented to Buddha. Beside the garden there was another 
stupa erected on the spot where Buddha had announced his 
approaching Nirvana (or death). Beyond this there was a 
third stupa on the spot where the “ thousand sons had recog- 
nized their mother.” A fourth stupa stood over the spot where 
Buddha was said to have taken exercise, and a fifth, erected 
; on ancient foundations, commemorated the site on which he 
had explained certain sacred books. A sixth stupa held the 
relics of one-half of the body of Ananda, the other half 
being enshrined at Baja-griha. The hearing of these stupas 
from the garden of Amradarika is not stated ; but as the mass 
of the existing brick ruins lies to the westward of the southern 
entrance of the fort, the whole of these monuments must 
have been situated in that direction. Of the six stupas 
described by Hwen Thsang, it is probable that only two were of 
any size, namely, that erected on the spot where Buddha had 
announced his approaching Nirvana, and that which contained 
j the relics of the half body of Ananda. It is much to be 
regretted that the presence of the Musalman tombs on the 
; top of this ancient stupa effectually precludes any attempt at 
excavation, otherwise a shaft sunk down through the centre 
of the mound would probably reveal the purpose for which 
the monument had been erected. The stupa built by the 

* Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 395. 



King of Magadha in Baja-griha, over the other half of the 
remains of Ananda, is said by Hwen Thsang to have been a 
superb one. An annual fair is held at the Besarh stupa in 
the month of Chaitrci, when many thousands of people as- 
semble at the shrine of Mir Abdal. As the occurrence of 
this fair is regulated by the solar reckoning of the Hindus, 
and not by the lunar year of the Muhammedans, I conclude 
that the festival was established long before the time of the 
Musalman Saint. I would, therefore, as the fair is held 
beside the ruined stupa, connect the festival with some 
celebration in honour of Buddha, or of one of his disciples. 
Two ornamental stone pillars of mediaeval date were found a 
short time ago in excavating near the foot of the mound. 

To the westward of the fort there is a large sheet of 
water with an island on the east side, on which is situated a 
small temple dedicated to Mahadeva. Inside the temple all 
the sculptures found in the ruins of Besarh have been col- 
lected. The principal sculpture is a group of Mahadeva 
seated on his bull Nandi and caressing Durga, or Gauri, who 
is seated on a lion. There is also a standing figure of the 
four-armed Vishnu with a radiated halo round his head. In 
his hands he holds a club, a ball, a quoit, and a shell. A third 
sculpture represents the Ashta Sakti, or eight female energies 
seated on their respective vahans or vehicles. The remaining 
sculptures are Buddhistical. One is of Buddha the Ascetic, 
two represent the DhyAni Buddha, Amitabha, while a fourth 
is a seated figure of the famous Bodhisatwa Avalokiteswara. 

There are several small sheets of water to the north and 
north-west of the fort, but when I saw them they were irre- 
gular in shape and seemed to me mostly natural hollows filled 
with the rain which had recently fallen. The Natives, how- 
ever, say that formerly there were 52 tanks {Bawan Pokhar) 
around Besarh, two of which still exist in the neighbourhood 
of Bakhra. 

The remains at Bakhra are all situated on a low mound 
just one mile to the south-east of the village, and two miles 
to the north north-west of the Port of Besarh.* The greater 
portion of this mound is now cultivated, but the whole 
surface is covered with small fragments of bricks. The edge 
of the mound is best defined on the western side, where it 

* See Plate XXL 

Plate XXII 



ground* j/.evel 


Level ofFC elds 
Level of Water 


Back View 


Side View 

A. Cunningham, ue . Lith- Surv-. Genr 1 * Office Cat June 1871, 



lias an elevation of four feet. The remains consist of — Is/, 
a stone pillar surmounted by a lion ; 2nd, a ruined stupa of 
solid brick ; 3rd, a tank ; 4 th, four small eminences which 
mark the sites of ancient buildings ; and 5 tli, a very line 
life-size statue of Buddha the Ascetic, which was discovered 
only eight years ago. The pillar and the ruined stupa have 
already been described by Mr. Stephenson, and the site has 
already been identified by M. Vivien de St. Martin, as well as 
by myself, with the Vaisali of the Buddhists. 

The lion pillar of Bakhra is situated in the middle of a 
small court-yard with small rooms on three sides — the resi- 
dence of a Scmyasi who has recently settled at this place. 
The people call him Baba. He is about 30 years of age, and 
appeared to me very like a sepoy. He was obliging and 
communicative, and gave me both assistance and information. 
If he had been surly and disobliging, he might easily have 
raised religious scruples, and thus have thwarted me from 
making an excavation round the pillar, which I was parti- 
cularly anxious to do, as it was evident to me that the 
column had sunk considerably into the earth. The man had 
a few followers, and appeared to be very comfortable. There 
was plenty of food stored in his house, and a fine old well on 
the east side of the court-yard. 

The shaft of the pillar is a single block of polished 
sand-stone, 18 feet in height above the present ground level 
of the court- vard in which it stands, and 27 feet 11 inches 
above the surrounding fields. The difference between these 
two measurements, or 9 feet 11 inches, represents the ac- 
cumulation of rubbish around the pillar above the general 
level of the country. I made an excavation all round 
the shaft until I reached water at a depth of 14 feet below 
the level of the court-yard, and of 4 feet 1 inch below the 
level of the fields. The water in the old well close by was 
standing at the same level. As the whole of the shaft ex- 
posed by the excavation is polished, it appears to me certain 
that the pillar must have sunk into the ground at least 4 
feet 1 inch in depth, and most probably several feet more, 
as there was no appearance of any basement at the point 
reached by my excavation. The whole height of shaft 
above the water level is 32 feet. I was informed by an old 
man at Besarh that the Saheb who excavated the Bakhra 



stupa left a Bengali to make an excavation round tlie pillar, 
and that just at the water level he found a square pedestal 
in three steps. Before I began my own excavation, I was 
told that a previous excavation had been made down to the 
water level without revealing any inscriptions. I found, how- 
ever, a few short records in the curious flourished characters, 
which James Prinsep called “ shell-shaped,” and which Major 
Kittoe thought somewhat resembled Chinese. I believe that 
these characters belong to the 7th or 8th century. But at 
whatever period these may have been in use, it is certain 
that at least 4 or 5 feet more of the shaft must then have 
been exposed to view. The pillar now leans to the westward, 
and is from 4 to 5 inches out of the perpendicular at the 
ground level. I attribute the sinking of the pillar partly to 
the insufficiency of the basement, and partly to the want of 
stiffness in the sub-soil, which is a loose wet sand. In such 
a soil the basement should have been well spread out, with 
its foundation resting on xvells, so as to offer an effectual 
resistance to the thrust of the heavy pillar which, with its 
capital, must weigh nearly 50 tons. The shaft alone above 
the water level weighs 37 tons.* 

The upper diameter of the pillar is 38' 7 inches, and the 
lower diameter at the water level is 49'8 inches, the mean 
diameter being 44’2 inches, as the slope of the shaft is quite 
straight. The pillar is surmounted by a bell-shaped capital, 
2 feet 10 inches in height, with an oblong abacus of 12 
inches, making the whole height of capital 3 feet 10 inches. 
This forms the pedestal of a lion statue of life-size. The 
animal is seated facing the north with his hind legs under 
him, with his mouth open as if snarling, and his tongue 
slightly protruded. The attitude is rather stiff, and the fore 
legs of the animal seem to be both too short and too thick ; 
but the hair of the mane is boldly and cleverly treated, and 
the general appearance of the statue is certainly striking. 

There is no inscription on the pillar to declare the object 
for which it was erected. It is possible that a short inscrip- 
tion may once have existed, for the surface of the pillar has 
suffered considerably, and in one part, 2 \ feet above the 
present ground level, the polished surface has peeled off all 
round. Numerous names of visitors have been cut on the 

* See Plate XXII. for a view of this pillar. 



pillar. Some few are of Musalmans, several of Hindus, but 
the most of Christians. The visitors, I was told, wrote their 
names in charcoal, and a village black-smith afterwards 
traced them roughly with a chisel The whole surface of the 
pillar within reach is disfigured with these rude scrawls, of 
which the neatest and smallest is that of “ Beuben Burrow, 
1792.” Some of the ISagari inscriptions consist of two short 
lines, but none of them, as far as I could judge, are more 
than 200 or 300 years old. The pillar is known by the 
people as BMm-Sen-kd-ldt and Bldm-Sen-kd-danda. 

Immediately to the south of the pillar there is a small 
tank, 200 feet from east to west, and 150 feet from north to 
south. It has no name, but is simply called Kund or 
Pokhar. To the south, at a distance of 35 feet, there is a 
low mound of broken bricks, which must have been the site 
of some ancient building. At short distances from the 
south-west and north-west corners of the tank, there are two 
similar mounds. The probable identification of the tank and 
mounds will be noticed hereafter. 

Hue north from the pillar, and just outside the court- 
yard, there is a ruined stupa of solid brick surmounted by a 
fine old Pipal tree. This stupa is 25 feet 10 inches in height 
above the fields, but only 15 feet 11 inches above the present 
ground level of the pillar. An excavation has been made 
right into the centre of the mound from the north-west. The 
excavation, I was informed by an old man, was superintended 
by a Bengali servant of some Saheb more than 50 years ago, 
hut no discovery was made. This account agrees with that 
given by Mr. Stephenson, who relates that the excavation was 
made by a Hoctor, resident at Muzafarpur, 30 years ago, that 
is, previous to 1835, or about A. H. 1805. As the centre of 
the mass had evidently been reached by the Bengali, I did not 
think it necessary to make any further excavation. 

To the north-east of the ruined stupa, at a distance of 
250 feet, there is a low mound similar to those near the tank, 
and due north, at a distance of 500 feet, there is a small 
temple containing a life-size statue of Buddha the Ascetic, 
which was discovered only eight years ago in digging up some 
brick walls immediately to the east of the temple. The 
statue is perfect, not even the nose being broken. There 
is a small Buddha on each side of the figure, and there are 


two lions on the pedestal, besides a long inscription, "begin- 
ning with the usual Buddhist formula. There is no date, 
but the characters are those of the 8th or 9th century. The 
spot on which the figure was found was most probably the 
site of an ancient vihdr or Buddhist chapel monastery, in 
which the statue was enshrined. I saw several of the bricks 
with bevelled edges similar to those that form part of the 
mouldings of the Great Temple at Buddha Gaya, and of the 
stupa at Giryek. 

The lion pillar and the surrounding remains at Bakhra 
I would identify with a group of holy buildings described 
by Hwen Thsang as being situated upwards of one mile to 
the north-west of the Palace of Vaisali. The exact distance 
is not mentioned, but the existing remains correspond so 
closely with his details regarding the situation and nature 
of the different objects, that there can be no reasonable 
doubt as to the identity of the whole group. The first work 
noticed by Hwen Thsang as being upwards of one mile to 
the north-west of the Palace of Vaisali is a stupa that was 
built by King Asoka, of which the purpose is not stated. 
Beside the stupa there was a stone column from 50 to 60 
feet in height, surmounted by the statue of a lion. To the 
south of the pillar there was a tank which had been ex- 
cavated by a flock of monkeys for the use of Buddha. At 
a short distance to the west of the tank there was a stupa 
erected on the spot where the monkeys climbed a tree and 
filled Buddha’s begging pot with honey. On the south 
side of the tank there was another stupa erected on the 
spot where the monkeys offered the honey to Buddha, and 
at the north-west angle of the tank there was a statue of 
a monkey.* 

The ruined stupa to the north of the pillar I would 
identify with Asoka’s stupa, and the small tank to the south 
of the pillar with the celebrated Markata-hradci or “ Mon- 
keys’ Tank,” which, as we have already seen, was in the same 
position with respect to the lion pillar. The two low mounds 
to the west and south of the tank correspond with the sites 
of the two stupas built to commemorate the monkey’s offer- 
ing of honey to Buddha ; and the low mound to the north- 
west agrees exactly with the site of the monkey’s statue. 

# Julicn’s Hwen Thsang, II., pp. 386-3S7. 



The correspondence between the several objects so minutely 
detailed by Hwen Thsang and the existing remains is com- 
plete. The only point on which there is any seeming discre- 
pancy is the height of the pillar, which was from 50 feet to 
60 feet, while the actual pillar may, perhaps, he less. The 
height of the lion statue is 4 feet 6 inches, that of the capi- 
tal is 3 feet 10 inches, and that of the polished shaft down to 
the water level is 35 feet 10 inches, making altogether a height 
of only 44 feet 2 inches ; but as neither the basement of the 
pillar nor the end of the polished portion of the shaft have 
been reached, it is quite certain that the pillar must have 
been higher than this measurement. I would, therefore, fix 
its probable original height at about 50 feet, which would 
then agree with the measurement of Hwen Thsang. 

Vaisali, the Capital of the Lichclihavi family, was espe- 
cially famous as the scene of the second Buddhist Synod in 
443 B. C. The assembly was held, according to Hwen 
Thsang, at a spot 2-| miles to the south-east of the city, but 
I could find no remains in that direction. Vaisali was also 
celebrated as the place where Buddha had announced his 
approaching Nirvana. The actual spot was to the westward 
of the town, but after the announcement, Buddha, with his 
cousin disciple Ananda, repaired to the Kutdgdra hall, where 
he addressed his followers for the last time. Kutagara, which 
means the “ upper-storied hall,” was a famous edifice situated 
in the Mahdvano Vihdro, in which Buddha had dwelt during 
the 5th year of his teaching.* Mahdvano Vihdro means 
“ the Chapel Monastery of the Great Forest.” Fa-Hian 
speaks of “ a great forest and a chapel of two stories ;” but 
Hwen Thsang makes no allusion to the upper-storied hall, 
although, as we know from the Mdndhdtri Sutra of the 
Divya Avadana, translated by Burnouf, the Kutdgdra Hall 
was situated outlie bank of the Markata-hrada, or “ Monkey 
Tank.”f From Hwen Thsang’s silence I infer that this once 
famous hall, which Fa-Hian had seen about A. I). 410, must 
have b.ecome ruined before A. D. 640. Altogether, the agree- 
ment of these details is so very close that I think there can 
be little, if any, doubt that the Bakhra ruins represent the 
site of the group of sacred objects described by Hwen Thsang. 
Even the great forest can still be traced in the numerous fine 

* Tumour iu Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1S33, pp. 790 and 1200. 
t Introduction k 1’Histoire du Buddhisme Indien, p. 71. 



groves of trees which surround the ruins on all sides. The 
name of Bakhra may possibly have been derived from Vak 
(S. Yacli) “ to speak,” from the fact that in the Kutdgara 
Hall Buddha had addressed his disciples for the last time. 


To the north -north-west, distant 30 miles from Bes4rh, 
and somewhat less than two miles to the south of the large 
village of Kesariya, stands a lofty brick mound capped by a 
solid brick tower of considerable size. This ruin has already 
been brought to notice by Mr. B. H. Hodgson, hut no des- 
cription has been published, and in the sketch taken by his 
Native artist, the mound appears much too high for its 
breadth, while the stupa (or dahgopa) on the top is made 
much too small.* 

The mound of Kesariya is a ruined mass of solid brick- 
work, 62 feet in height, and 1,400 feet in circumference at 
the base of the ruins. On the top of this there is a solid 
brick stupa, the whole surface of which is ruined, excepting 
at the base, which is still perfect in several places. In the 
most perfect part there are 15 courses of surface brick-work 
still in good order, and in two other places there are 10 and 

11 courses perfect. Prom these three points I made out the 
base of the stupa to be 68 feet 5 inches in diameter. My 
measurement of the height was necessarily rough, as there 
was no defined edge at the top, the whole being thickly 
covered with long grass. After much trouble I made out a 
height of 38 feet inches for the cylindrical portion, and of 

12 feet 10^ inches for the dome, or altogether of 51 feet 6 
inches. But as the height of the dome cannot have been 
less than the half diameter of the building, or 34 feet 2^ 
inches, the original height of the solid brick-work or this 
stupa must have been 72 feet 10 inches, and the whole 
height of the stupa with its pinnacle not less than from 80 
to 90 feet, or including the ruined basement on which it 
stands, not less than 150 feet above the ground, f 

Prom the ruined state of the lower mound, compared 
with the perfect state of the base of the upper stupa, I am 

* Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1835, Plate VII. 

t See Plate XXIII. for a plan of the ruins of Kesariya ; and Plate XXIV. for a view 
of the stupa. 

A. Cunningham del: 

lAtho. at the Survr. Genl’s. Office. Cal. August 1371 



of opinion that the present stupa is of middle age, say from 
A. D. 200 to 700, and that it was built upon the ruined mass 
of a much older and much larger stupa. That such a 
practice was not uncommon, we learn from Hwen Thsang, 
who describes two stupas at Vaisali as having been erected 
on ancient foundations. I feel quite satisfied that such has 
been the case with the Kesariya Monument, and as all the 
early stupas are found to be hemispherical, I infer that the 
lower and earlier stupa must have been of that form. Its 
great size may he deduced from the breadth of the base of 
the upper stupa, namely, 68 feet 5 inches, at a height of 62 
feet above the ground ; and as there must have been a clear 
terrace all round this stupa, for the perambulation of pil- 
grims, the actual thickness of the early stupa at this height 
cannot have been much less than 100 feet, which would give 
a diameter at base of 160 feet. The height of the hemis- 
phere would, of course, have been 80 feet, hut with the usual 
square Buddhist capital surrounded by an umbrella, or other 
pinnacle, the stupa could not have been less than 100 feet. 

This ancient monument is known to the people as Raja, 
Ben ka Dedra. The similar hut smaller stupa at Kasiya is 
also called a. Dedra, or, as it is written by Buchanan, Dewhara. 
In both cases the name belongs to the upper stupa, and not 
to the whole mass, as all mounds, whether of earth or brick, 
in this part of the country, are named Bhisa. Deoriya, 
which is a very common village name in the districts of 
Tirhut, Champaran, and Gorakhpur, is applied, I believe, 
only to such places as possess either a temple or some other 
holy buildings. Of Raja Ben the people have no tradition, 
except that he was one of the five Supreme Emperors of 
India, and he is, therefore, called Raja Ben Chakravartti. 
The piece of water immediately to the south of the stupa is 
also named after him, Raja Ben ka Digha , or Baja Ben’s 
Tank. I know only of one Baja Vena, whom the Bisliis are 
said to have inaugurated as “ Monarch of the Earth,” but 
whom they afterwards slew, because he would not allow them 
to worship Vishnu — “ Who,” exclaimed he, “is this Hari 
whom you style the lord of sacrifice ?” Erom Vena’s right 
arm, when rubbed by Brahmans, was produced a son named 
Prithu, who, according to the Vislmu Purana, also become a 
Chakravartti Raja. This Vena Chakravartti is most pro- 
bably the great Baja Ben to whom the tradition refers. 



Now it is remarkable that, according to tlie account of 
Hwen Tlisang, this stupa was also referred to a Chakravartti 
Raja by the Buddhists of the 7th century. He states that 
at somewhat less than 200 li (that is, less than 33 miles, or 
say about 30 miles) to the north-west of Vaisali, which is 
the exact position of the Kesariya stupa, there was an ancient 
town which had been deserted for many ages. It possessed a 
stupa built over the spot where Buddha had announced that 
in one of his former existences he had been a Bodhisatwa, 
and had reigned over that town as a Chakravartti Raja, 
named Mahacleva* It can hardly, I think, be doubted that 
the tradition of Raja Ben preserves the very same story which 
is recorded by Hwen Tlisang. That the stupa was intended 
to commemorate a Chakravartti Raja might also have been 
inferred from its position at the meeting of four principal 
roads. “ For a Chakravartti Raja,” said Buddha addressing 
Ananda, “ they build the thupo at a spot where four princi- 
pal roads meet.” Now to the south of Kesariya, within 
one-quarter of a mile of the stupa, the two great thorough- 
fares of the district cross each other, namely, that from Patna 
northward to Bettiah, and that from Cliapra across the Gan- 
dak, north-eastwards to Nepal. 

On the east side of the Kesariya stupa a gallery has been 
excavated right to the centre of the building*. This is said 
to have been done upwards of 40 years ago by one Kasi Nath 
Babu, the servant of a Colouel Salieb. As the name of 
“ Lieutenant-Colonel Mackenzie, Madras Engineers, 1814,” is 
inscribed on the Bakhra Pillar, I think it probable that the 
excavation was made by his orders. No discovery was made, 
and, if I am right in my identification of this stupa with that 
which was erected on the spot where Buddha announced his 
previous existence as a Chakravartti Raja, it is almost certain 
that it would not have been the depository of relics or of 
other objects. The monument was, in fact, only a memorial 
stupa, erected to perpetuate the fame of one of Buddha’s 
acts, and not a sepulchral stupa for the reception of relics. 

To the north north-east of the stupa, and rather less 
than half a mile distant, there is a small mound which has 
been partially excavated to furnish materials for the bridges 
on the high road, which, within the last few years, have been 

* Julien’s Hwen Tlisang, II., 396. 

Hate XXIV. 


made from Baklira to Motikari via Kesariya. The excavations 
have disclosed the walls of a small temple, 10 feet square 
inside, and the head and shoulders of colossal figure of Bud- 
dha, with the usual crisp curly hair. The mound, which is 
about 200 feet square, is called Haniwas, and also Gorai, and 
the buildings are attributed to some ancient Bani. It ap- 
pears to me to have been the site of a Vihara or Temple 
Monastery, as portions of cells are still traceable on the 
eastern side. At the south-west angle there is another 
smaller mound of brick ruin, 120 feet from north to south 
and 60 feet from west to east. It is probably the ruin of a 


Between Kesariya and Bettiah, at a distance of 20 miles 
to the north-west of the Kesariya stupa, and one mile to the 
south-west of the Hindu temple of Ara-Baj Makadeo, there 
stands a lofty stone column which bears in well-preserved 
and well-cut letters several of the edicts of KingAsoka. The 
pillar itself is simply called Laur , that is, “ the phallus and 
the neighbouring village, which lies not more than 100 yards to 
the westward, is called Laariya. This is the pillar which, on 
the authority of Mr. Hodgson, has been called the Badhia 
Pillar. Now, as the other pillar to the north of Bettiah is 
also called Laur, and the large village close to it Lauriya , 
while Mr. Hodgson has named it Mathiah, I presume that 
his Munshi intentionally suppressed the phallic name of 
Lauriya , and named the two pillars at random after some of 
the neighbouring villages. Thus Bakariva (Burheea of 
Indian Atlas Sheet No. 102), which is Mr. Hodgson’s Badhia, 
lies 2^ miles to the west north-west of the southern pillar, 
while Mathiah lies 3 miles due south from the northern pillar. 
In describing these pillars I will preserve the characteristic 
name of Lauriya, and for the sake of distinguishing the one 
from the other, I will add to each the name of the nearest 
village, thus the village near the southern pillar I shall call 
Lauriya Ara-Haj, and that near the northern pillar Lauriya 

The Ara-Baj Pillar is a single block of polished sand- 
stone, 36^ feet in height above the ground, with a base dia- 
meter of 41-8 inches, and a top diameter of 37'G inches. 
The weight of this portion onty is very nearly 34 tons, but 


as there must he several feet of rough shaft sunk in the 
earth, the actual weight of the single block must he about 
40 tons. This pillar has no capital, although there can he 
little, if any, doubt that it must once have been crowned 
with a statue of some animal. The people, however, know 
nothing of it, and not a fragment of any kind now exists 
to suggest what it may have been. The site of the village is 
a very secluded one, and there are no ruins or other remains 
to attract attention. It has accordingly escaped the notice 
of travellers, and the disfigurement of their names — the only 
record being that of “ Iteuben Burrow, 1792,” besides a few 
flourished letters, or marks, of the kind which James Prinsep 
called shell-shaped characters. 

The edicts of Asoka are most clearly and neatly en- 
graved, and are divided into two distinct portions, — tliat'to the 
north containing 18 lines, and that to the south 23 lines. I 
made a copy of the inscription by the eye, which I then 
compared with James Prinsep’s text, and afterwards I re- 
examined every letter in which our copies differed. I also 
made an inked impression of the whole inscription on paper. 
But, though the variations from Prinsep’s text are not many, 
yet, as no facsimile has yet been made public, it is important, 
for the sake of comparison, to afford access to one which has 
been carefully copied in every letter. 


The lion pillar of Lauriya Navandgarh, which after Mr. 
Hodgson has hitherto been called the Mathiah Pillar, is 
situated at rather less than half a mile to the north-east of 
the large village of Lauriya, at 15 miles to the north north- 
west of Bettiah, and at 10 miles from the nearest point of the 
Gandak Biver. As Mr. Hodgson’s name of Mathiah serves 
only to mislead, I propose to call the site of this pillar 
Lauriya Navandgarh, by adding the name of a very remark- 
able deserted fort which stands just half a mile to the south- 
west of Lauriya. The village of Mathiah lies no less than 3 
miles to the south of the pillar, and is besides both smaller 
and of less consequence than Lauriya. The name of this 
Lauriya is printed in Homan letters in the Indian Atlas Sheet 
No. 102, and even the “ stone pillar” itself is inserted in its 
proper place to the north-east of the village. The deserted 



fort of Navandgarh is omitted, but it will be found in the 
Calcutta Map, on the 8-mile scale, as Naonad-garli. The 
mound is from 250 to 300 feet square at top, and 80 feet in 
height. On account of its height it was chosen as one of the 
stations of the Trigonometrical Survey, and for the same 
reason it commands a most extensive and beautiful view of 
the well-wooded country around it.*' 

The remains at Lauriya Navandgarh are particularly in- 
teresting, as they are very extensive, and at the same time 
quite different in character from any others that I have exa- 
mined. These remains consist of three rows of eartliern 
barrows or huge conical mounds of earth, of which two of the 
rows lie from north to south, and the third from west to east. 
The stupas hitherto met with have been made either of stone 
or of brick ; but the earliest stupas were mere mounds of 
earth, of which these are the only specimens that I have 
seen. I believe that they are the sepulchral mounds of the 
early kings of the country, prior to the rise and spread of 
Buddhism, and that their date may, therefore, be assumed as 
ranging from about 600 to 1500 B. C. The word stupa 
meant originally only “ a mound of earth,” and this is the 
rendering given to the word by Colebrooke in his transla- 
tion of the Amarakosha. In the time of Asoka all the 
stupas were certainly built either of stone or brick, as 
recorded by Hwen Tlisang ; and, although he is silent regard- 
ing the material of the earlier stupas of Ajatasatra and other 
contemporaries of Buddha, yet, as he makes no mention any- 
where of earthen stupas, I presume that all the Buddhist 
monuments were either of brick or stone. The earthen 
barrows I would, therefore, refer to an earlier period, as the 
stupas or sepulchral mounds raised over the ashes of the 
rulers of the country, the larger mounds belonging, perhaps, 
to the greater or more famous monarchs who had assumed 
the title of Chalcravartti Bajas. Every mound is called 
simply BMsci, and the whole are said to have been the forti- 
fied residences of the ministers and nobles of Baja TJttanpat , 
while the Eort of Navandgarh was the Baja’s own residence. 
Uttdncipdda , King of Brahmavarta or Bharatkhand, that is, 
of the Gangetic Boab, was the son of the Manu Swayam- 
bhuva , the first-created of Brahma, and the progenitor of 

* See Plate XXIII. for a plan of these ruins, and Plate XXV. for a view. 



mankind. Raja Vena, to wbom the Kesariya Monument is 
assigned, was the seventh in descent from TJttanapada. 
Another decisive evidence in favour of the great antiquity of 
these harrows is the fact that Major Pearse, of the Madras 
Artillery, found one of the small punch-marked silver coins 
in his excavations amongst them, These coins are certainly 
anterior to the time of Alexander the Great, and I believe 
that many of them are as old as 1000 B. C., and, perhaps, 
even older. 

There are three rows of these earthen mounds, of which 
one line runs from east to west, and the other two lines from 
north to south. There are five barrows in the east and west 
row and six barrows in the inner north and south row, while 
the outer north and south row has four large and at least 
seven small barrows.* There are probably several more small 
mounds which escaped my observation in the jungle sur- 
rounding some of the larger mounds, but I do not believe 
that any barrow of greater height than 5 or 6 feet remains 
unnoticed. In my survey of these remains I have attached 
a separate letter of the alphabet to each mound for the sake 
of greater clearness of description. 

In the east and west line there are five mounds marked 
A. to E. Pour of these mounds, A., C., D., and E., are covered 
with fragments of brick, and there are also traces of the walls 
of small brick buildings on their summits. Mound A. is 20 
feet in height. Within 5 feet of its top, I excavated a 
portion of a circular foundation wall, 16 inches thick, formed 
of single bricks 20-| inches long and 4 inches thick. There 
were only four courses of bricks resting on the earth of the 
mound. This work may either have been the retaining wall 
of a circular terrace which once crowned the top of the 
mound, or it may have been the foundation of a tower ; but 

* See Plate XXIV. for a view of tliese earthen mounds and of the Lion-pillar. The 
following extracts from the Bengal Administration Report for 18G8-69 show the nature of 
the discoveries to be expected in these mounds. The excavations were made on my re- 
commendation : 

“Para. 273. — “ At Lowrya, 15 miles north-west of Bettiah, there is one of Asoka’s edict 
or boundary pillars. It is of granite, 40 feet high and 9 feet in circumference at base. 
It has an entablature at top surmounted by a lion couchant. A short time ago, close by it, 
were found some leaden coffins containing unusually long human skeletons.” 

A second paragraph, perhaps, refers to a different discovery, hut I suspect it must 
be the same described by a different person. 

“ Some tumuli have been discovered in the Bettiah sub-division, from one of which 
two iron coins were obtained, aud from another an iron coffin 9 feet or so in length ; in 
this were human hones. The coffin was greatly corroded, aud fell to pieces.” 



as the wall was only 1G inches thick, the former Avould seem 
to he the more probable supposition. Mound B. is a simple 
earthen harrow, 25 feet in height. Mound C., which is 30 
feet in height, is thickly covered with broken brick. There 
are traces of foundation Avails on the top, hut a former exca- 
A r ation shows that the whole mass is plain earth. There arc 
traces also of walls on the slopes of the mound ; and in an 
excavation amongst these superficial brick ruins made by Mr. 
Lynch, Deputy Magistrate of Motilifiri, there was found a seal 
of black earthen- ware, bearing a short inscription in characters 
of the Gupta period, that is, of the 2nd and 3rd century after 
Christ. The inscription, which consists of four letters, reads 
Atavijd. This is most probably only a name which may 
mean either Atavi + ja, “ the forest born,” or less probably 
Ata + vija, “the cause of motion.” At the end of the 
name there is the Swastika, or mystic cross, and over the 
name in the middle there is the symbol of Dharmma, and 
to the left, in a slanting direction, a trident, or trisdl. The 
discovery of this seal shows that Navandgarli Lauriya was 
certainly occupied by the Buddhists as late as the 2nd or 3rd 
century A. D. Doubtless their occupation continued to a 
later period ; for, although both Ea-Hian and Hwen Thsang 
make no allusion to it, their silence is easily accounted for 
by the fact that the course of their travels did not take either 
of them into the Bettiah District. The tAvo remaining barrows 
of this row are somewhat higher, mound D. being 35 feet, 
and E. 45 feet. Both of them are covered with broken brick. 
The top of D. had already been opened, and I myself made an 
eYcavajion on the top of mound E. Both had flat tops, as if 
terraces 'had once existed on their summits, and with this 
impression I began my excavation. At the depth of 4 feet 
all trace of brick disappeared, the mass of the mound being 
plain earth. The bricks were large, 15" x 9" x 2-|." 

None of the barrows of the middle line have any traces 
of brick upon them, but seem to be made of plain earth. 
They are all covered with low thorny jungle. The most 
northerly mound of this line, marked H., is 25 feet in height ; 
the next mound, marked G., is 20 feet ; the next E. is 50 
feet ; and the next M. is 55 feet. The last two are the 
highest of all the barrows at Navandgarh Lauriya. The 
next mound N. is only 15 feet high, and the next southerly 
mound, marked Q., is 25 feet in height. About one-half of 


the mass of tlic last mound lias been excavated and carried 
away to Bcttiak on bullocks and donkeys. The whole heart 
of the mound is formed of an extremely hard whitish clay, 
which is used by the people as a light coloured clay-wash for 
the walls of their houses. This clay is, indeed, so hard that 
it turns the edges of common digging tools. When freshly 
cut, it glistens, and has a bluish tint. Prom whence was 
this clay obtained ? There is none now anywhere near the 
place, the soil being generally light and sandy. Can it have 
been found here formerly, or was it brought from a distance ? 

In the outer line there are only four large barrows, the 
most northerly, marked L., being 20 feet in height, and the 
other three, marked K., J., and R., being each 30 feet. The last 
mound R., which is the most southerly of this line, has also 
been excavated for the sake of its stiff white clay, which is 
similar to that of mound Q. of the middle line. Between J. 
and R. I traced seven small mounds, of which the largest, 
marked O., is only 8^ feet in height. I made an opening in 
this mound down to the ground level, but without any result, 
except that it proved the mound to be formed of common hard 
earth, and not of the indurated glistening white clay, which 
forms the masses of the two barrows Q. and R. 

There is another question regarding these barrows which 
is, perhaps, quite as puzzling as that of their origin, namely, 
from whence was the earth for so many large mounds pro- 
cured, for there is not a single hollow or excavation of any 
kind in their neighbourhood ? On three sides of the huge 
mound of Navandgarh the tanks still exist to show 
whence its material was obtained, but with respect to the 
material for the tumuli we are left entirely to conjecture. 
Between the mounds and the village of Lauriya there is the 
dry bed of an annual flood stream called the Tarhdha Ndla, 
but its soil is light and sandy, excepting only in the deeper 
pools, where the water lies for several months. It seems 
scarcely possible that the earth could have been taken from 
this sandy channel, and yet it is equally impossible to say 
from what other place it could have been obtained. 

The lion pillar of Lauriya Navandgarh stands to the 
north of the mounds A. and B., at a distance of less than 500 
feet from each. Its shaft is formed of a single block of 
polished stand-stone, 32 feet 9^ inches in height, with a dia- 



meter at base of 35‘5 inches and of 26’2 inches at top. The 
capital, which is 6 feet 10 inches in height, is hell-shaped, 
with a circular abacus supporting the statue of a lion facing 
the north.* The abacus is ornamented with a row of 
Brahmani geese pecking their food. The column has a light 
and elegant appearance, and is altogether a much more pleas- 
ing monument than the stouter and shorter pillar of Bakhra. 
The lion has been injured in the mouth, and the column itself 
bears the round mark of a cannon shot just below the 
capital, which has itself been slightly dislodged by the shock. 
One has not far to seek for the name of the probable author 
of this mischief. By the people the outrage is ascribed 
to the Musalmans, and on the pillar itself, in beauti- 
fully cut Persian characters, is inscribed the name of 
Mahi-ud-din Muhammad Aurangzib Padshah Alamgir Gliazi , 
Sanh, 1071. This date corresponds with A. D. 1660-61, 
which was the fourth year of the reign of the bigotted Aurang- 
zib, and the record may probably have been inscribed by 
some zealous follower in Mir Jumla’s Army, which was 
then on its return from Bengal, after the death of the 
Emperor’s brother Shuja. The Navandgarh Pillar is much 
thinner and much lighter than those of Ara-Raj and Bakhra. 
The weight of the polished portion of its shaft is only 18 tons, 
or rather less than half that of the Bakhra Pillar, and some- 
what more than half that of the Ara-Raj Pillar. 

The pillar is inscribed with the edicts of Asoka in the 
same clear and beautifully cut characters as those of the 
"Ara E^ij Pillar. The two inscriptions, with only a few trifling 
variations, correspond letter for letter. I made a careful copy 
of the whole for comparison with the text made public by 
James Prinsep. I made also a facsimile impression in ink. 

The Navandgarh Pillar has been visited by numerous 
travellers, as it stands in the direct route from Bettiah to 
Nepal. There are a few unimportant inscriptions in modem 
Nagari, the oldest being dated in Samvat 1566, chait hadi 10, 
equivalent to A. D. 1509. One of them, without date, refers 
to some petty Royal Eamily, Nripa IS! ar ay ana Suta, Nripa 
Amara Singha, that is, “King Amara Singha, the son of 
King Narayana.” The only English inscription is the name 
of Pin. Burrow , 1792. 

* See Plate XXII, for a view of this pillar. 




The pillar itself lias now become an object of worship as 
a phallus or lingam. Whilst I was copying the inscription, 
a man with two women and a child set up a small flag before 
the pillar, and placed offerings of sweetmeats around it. 
They then all knelt before it, bowing down their heads to 
the ground with their hands behind their backs, and repeating 
some prayer. The erection of the pillar is ascribed to Raja 
B/iim Mari , one of the five Pandava brothers to whom most 
of the pillars in India are now ascribed. I could not learn 
anything regarding the title of Mari. There are two fine 
Banian trees close to the pillar, — one to the north, and the 
other to the south ; — but there are no traces of buildings of 
anv kind near it. 


The large village of Badaraona, or Badaravcma, is situ- 
ated 12 miles to the west of the River Gandak, 27 miles in a 
direct line to the north north-west of Navandgarli Lauriva, 
and 40 miles to the north north-east of Gorakhpur. I be- 
lieve that it is the ancient Bawd, as it is situated just 12 
miles from Kasia, which agrees with the position assigned to 
Bawd in the Pali Annals with respect to Kusinagara. The 
very name of Bawd also seems to be only a corruption of 
Badara-vana, or Badar-ban, which might easily be shortened 
to Barban , Bdwan , and Bawd. 

The remains at Padaraona consist of a large mound 
covered with broken brick and a few statues. The ms'anu 
is 220 feet in length from west to east, 120 feet im breadth 
from north to south, and 14 feet in height at the western 
end above the fields. The long trench mentioned by Bucha- 
nan still exists on the west side, and looks as if a wall had 
"been dug out for the sake of the bricks. About eight years 
ago a large hole was excavated to the east of the trench by 
a zemindar for the sake of bricks. Two houses were built of 
the materials then obtained, but sufficient trace of the walls 
still remains to show that they were in straight lines, one of 
them being paralled .to Buchanan’s trench. Prom this I 
infer that there was a court-yard about 100 feet square, with 
cells on each side for the accommodation of monks. In the 
centre there was probably either a stupa or a temple. But 
if I am right in my identification of Padaraona with Bawd , 


h» tm' 


tlie building would almost certainly have been a stupa ; for 
we know that the people of Pawa, after the cremation of 
Buddha’s body, obtained one-eiglith of the relics, over which 
they erected a stupa. The entrance to the court-yard would 
appear to have been on the east side, where the mound is 
now low and thickly covered with bricks. 

In a small roofless brick building at a short distance to 
the northward, there are a few old figures. This temple is 
dedicated to Hatlii Bhawani, or the Elephant Goddess, who 
is accordingly propitiated with rude votive figures of ele- 
phants in baked clay, of which numbers lie scattered about 
the temple, both inside and outside. The statue called 
Hatlii Bhawani represents a squatted male figure with a 
triple umbrella over his head. The figure appears to he 
naked, and if so, it must belong to the Jains, and not to the 
Buddhists. A drawing of it is given by Buchanan.* There are 
also two fragments with seated Buddhas, and a third with the 
upper half of a female figure. On referring to Buchanan I 
recognized all three fragments as having belonged to the statue 
sketched as fig. 2 in his plate. The principal figure is now 
gone, hut there are a few unimportant fragments not noticed 
by Buchanan, and in the village there is the pedestal of a 

I made an excavation on the highest part of the mound 
on the west side, and to the northward of the zemindar’s 
excavation. In this I found bricks with rounded edges such 
■-a c I had noticed in the mouldings of the Great Temple at 
Buddfi8,-Gya, and of the stupa at Giryek. I found also 
wedge-shaped bricks of two sizes. The largest ones being 
only fragments, I was unable to ascertain their length, but 
their breadth was 20f at the end, and 19J inches at G inches 
distance. As the larger end was rounded, these bricks must 
have formed part of some circular building and most pro- 
bably of a solid stupa, which would have been just 30 feet in 
diameter. The smaller bricks were 8^ inches long 5 ^ inches 
broad at the widest end, and 5 inches at the narrow end, with 
a thickness of 2J inches. These may have belonged to a 
small stupa about 9 feet in diameter. In my excavation I 
found also the base of a pillar of coarse grey sandstone. It 
was 15 inches square and 6^ inches high, with a few plain 

* Eastern India, II., Plate I., Fig. 2. 



mouldings at the upper edge. The complete excavation of 
this mound would not be difficult, and the work might he 
superintended by the civil authorities of the place, who live 
close by. 


The village of Kasta is situated at the crossing of two 
great thoroughfares, at a distance of 35 miles due east from 
Gorakhpur. The name is written Kasia, with the short a 
in the first syllable ; but I have little doubt that it should 
be written Kusta with the short u , for the place corresponds, 
both in position and in name, with the celebrated Kusinagara 
or “Town of the Kusa-grass,” which, as the scene of 
Buddha’s death, was famous throughout India. This sacred 
spot was visited both by Ta-Hian and by Hwen Thsang; 
and the latter has left a detailed account of the various 
stupas which still existed in his time. Most of these have 
now disappeared, owing partly to the removal of bricks by 
the people, but chiefly, I believe, to the inundations of the 
Little Gandak Liver, which at some former period must have 
flowed close by the sacred buildings of Kusinagara , as there 
are several old channels between the two principal masses 
of ruins, which are still occasionally filled during the rainy 

The existing remains have already been described by 
Buchanan* and by Mr. Liston ;f but their accounts are very 
brief, and offer no attempt to identify the ruins with any of 
the ancient cities which are known to have existed in this 
part of the country. The remains consist of — 1st, a-dufty 
mound of solid brick-work called Devistltdn and Rdrndbhdr 
Bhaicdni ; 2nd, an oblong mound called the Port of Matlia 
Kudr, which is covered with broken brick and jungle, 
and on which stands a brick stupa much ruined ; 2>rd-, a large 
statue of Buddha the Ascetic ; 1th, a low square mound 
covered with broken brick near the 'village of Anrudhiod ; 
and 5 th, a number of low earthern mounds, like barrows, 
which are scattered over the plain to the north and east of the 
great mound 4 

* Eastern India, II., p. 357. 

f Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1837, p. 477. 

+ See Plate XXVI. for a Map of Kasia. 1 opened several of these barrows, but with- 
out any result. I believe now that I did not dig deep enough. That they are tombs I feel 
quite certain, as Megasthenes describes the Indian “sepulchres as plain, and the tumuli of 
earth low.” Strabo., XV., I. 54. 



The mound called Devisthdn and Bdmdblidr Ttla is the 
ruin of a large ancient stupa of solid brick-work, which is 
still 49 feet in height above the fields. It is situated some- 
what less than one mile to the south-west of Kasia. On the 
top, under a fine old Banian Tree, is the shrine of the goddess 
Devi. There is neither statue nor building, hut only some 
votive figures in baked clay, the offerings of the poor people 
to their favourite Devi. The goddess is also called Mdmdbhdr 
Bliaivdni, because the mound is situated on the western bank 
of the . Rdmabhar Jlnl, a large natural sheet of water, which 
forms part of the bed of the Roha Ndla, one of the old channels 
of the Little Gandak. As the mound is also called Kamabhar 
Tila, it is possible that this name may have originally belonged 
to the stupa. I attempted to make an excavation at the top 
of the mound, but the large interlaced roots of the Banian 
Tree soon forced me to give up the work. At the south- 
eastern foot of the mound I discovered a portion of a small 
stupa formed of very large bricks, averaging 5 inches in 
thickness. These bricks were 17^ inches in length and wedge- 
shaped, being 8-| inches broad at one end, and only 7 inches 
at the other end. These dimensions would give a diameter 
of only 16^ feet to the stupa. 

The large mound called Mcitlid- Knar- ka-kot, or the 
“ Port of Matha-Kuar,” is 600 feet in length from north- 
west to south-east, and from 200 to 300 feet in breadth. At 
its highest point, which is 30 feet 3 inches iu height above 
the plain, the mound is formed entirely of solid brick-work, 
"which I believe to be the remains of a very ancient stupa. 
On this 'point stands a solid tower of brick- work with sides 
much ruined, and its top covered with long grass. This is 
undoubtedly a stupa, and from its position it must be of much 
later date than the ancient mass of brick-work on which it 
stands. I conclude that it is a work of middle age, or between 
A. D. 200 and 600. At present the mass of the tower is only 
24 feet thick, but by clearing away the rubbish, I measured 
a circumference of 86 feet, which gives a diameter of nearly 
27^ feet. The present height of the lower portion is only 15 
feet, and that of the grass-covered top, 12 feet 9 inches, the 
whole being 27 feet 9 inches above the ancient foundation, 
and 58 feet above the plain. But as the original height of 
this later work was most probably equal to two diameters, or 
55 feet, the whole height of the stupa above the plain would 
have been 85 feet. I drove a horizontal gallery into the 



centre of tlie building at its base without making any dis- 
covery. I confess that I did not expect to find anything, as, 
I believe, that whatever relics may have been deposited on 
this spot, they would have been placed in the more ancient 
stupa below, which forms the foundation of the present 
monument. There is a fine Pipal Tree close to this stupa.* 

The mound called the Tort of Matlia Kuar is situated 
nearly 1,600 yards to the north north-west of the ruined stupa 
called Ramabliar. Buchanan gives the distance as 400 yards, 
which is most probably a misprint for 1,400 yards. My dis- 
tance was measured from centre to centre ; if taken from foot 
to foot, the distance would be a little over 1,400 yards. This 
mound Avould seem to have been formed of the ruin of two 
large buildings and of several small ones. The site of one of 
the larger ones has just been described ; that of the other is 
to the north-westward, the summit of the mound at this 
point, which is crowned by a large Pipal Tree, being 20 feet 
in height above the plain. To the east of the stupa there is 
also a small detached mound, 16 feet 3 inches in height. I 
made an excavation in the top of this mound, which I aban- 
doned after reaching a depth of 4 feet 3 inches, as I found 
only broken bricks mixed with earth. Both to the north and 
south of the stupa there are low mounds, which are probably 
the remains of small detached t owners or other buildings. The 
top of the large mound is in most parts thickly covered with 
bricks, but towards the north-west end, where the elevation 
is low, there are some rather large spaces quite clear of 
bricks, which may be supposed to represent the court-y?Ms, 
or vacant spots between the buildings. I noticed many 
wedge-shaped bricks, which must have belonged to stupas of 
small size, besides several bricks with one-half face bevelled 
like those in the mouldings of the Great Temple at Buddha- 
Gaya and of Jarasandlia’s Tower at Giryek. I was unable to 
trace any straight lines of surrounding Avails, and, from the 
irregular outline of the mound, 1 incline to belieA^e that it 
has been formed by the ruin of a considerable number of 
independent buildings, such as a cluster of stupas of all sizes. 
Trom the total absence of statues, I infer that there were 
probably but few temples on this site. 

The large statue known as that of Matlia Kuar, or the 
cc Dead Prince,” is uoav lying on the ground at a distance of 

* See Plate XXA'II. for a view of these ruins. 

. Cunilillgbfl*n, del. Ph.otodncogcapb.ed. at the Surveyor General’a Office Calcutta 




1,100 feet from tlie brick stupa above described. Quite close 
beside it, to the eastward, there is a low square mound which 
I believe to be the remains of a temple in which the image 
was formerly enshrined. The statue which is made of the 
dark blue stone of Gaya, is split into two pieces from top 
to bottom, and is otherwise much injured. The short inscrip- 
tion on its pedestal has been almost worn out by the villagers 
in sharpening their tools, hut the few letters which remain are 
sufficient to show that the statue is not of older date than the 
11th or 12th century. The figure itself is colossal, and 
represents Buddha the Ascetic seated under the Bodhi Tree at 
Budha-Gaya. The whole sculpture is 10-J feet in height by 
4f feet in breadth. The height of the figure alone is 5 feet 44- 
inches, the breadth across the shoulders being 3 feet 8-^- 
inches, and across the knees 4 feet 5 inches. A sketch of 
this sculpture is given hv Buchanan.'* 

Between the Port of Mdthd Kudr and the great stupa 
on the Bdmdbhdr JliU, there is a low mound of brick ruins 
about 500 feet square, which is said to have been a hot or 
fort, and to which no name is given ; hut as it lies close to 
the village of Anrudhwa on the north-west, it may he called 
the Anrudhwa mound. There is nothing now left to show 
the nature of the buildings which once stood on this site ; 
hut from the square shape of the ruins, it may he conjec- 
tured with some probability that they must be the remains of 
a monastery. There are three fine Pipal Trees now standing 
on the mound. 

To\tlie north and east of the mound of Matha Knar the 
plain is covered with a number of low grassy mounds from 
3 to 6 feet in height, and from 12 to 25 feet in diameter. 
Be gar ding these barrows the people have a tradition that 
gypsys were formerly very numerous about Kasia, and that 
these mounds are the tumuli of their dead. I opened three 
of them, hut without making any discovery. They were all 
formed of plain earth, without any trace of bones, or ashes, 
or broken bricks. The people call them simply mounds, but 
I was informed by an old man that he had heard them styled 
Blumdwdt, and that ghosts were sometimes seen flitting 
about them. If the name of Blumdwdt has any reference 
to these ghosts, it might, perhaps, he translated as the “fear- 

* Eastern India, II., Plate II. 



some place but I cannot be certain of the spelling, and it 
is also possible that the old man may not have remembered 
the name correctly. I counted 21 of these mounds, but as 
they are generally not more than 3 or 4 feet in height, it is 
probable that their actual number is much greater.* 

I have already stated that the site of Kasia corre- 
sponds both in position and in name with the ancient city 
of Kusinagara, which was famous throughout India as the 
scene of Buddha’s death. According to Hwen Thsang, 
Kusinagara was situated at 700 li , or 116 miles to the north- 
east of Benares. Now Kasia is 112 miles to the north 
north-east of Benares in direct line. Fa-Hian also places 
Kusinagara at a distance of 23 yojans to the north-west of 
a place which was situated only 8 or 10 miles to the north 
of Vaisali, where the Lichchhavi Nobles had taken a last fare- 
well of Buddha. At 7 miles to the yojan Fa-Hain’s measure- 
ment would place Kusinagara at 148 or 150 miles to the 
north-west of Vaisali. Now the distance by the route which 
I marched is exactly 140 miles in a north-west direction, 
but as this measurement was taken along the straight lines 
of road which have been laid out by the British authorities, 
the actual distance by the old winding Native roads must 
certainly have been somewhat greater, or as nearly possible 
150 miles. 

The only name now associated with the ruins near 
Kasia is that of Matha Kudr, or the “ Dead Prince .” 
Mr. Liston gives the name as Mata , but a Brahman of the- 
neighbouring village of Bishanpur, who wrote the name 
for me, spelt it as I have given it, Mdthd. As this spelling 
points to the derivation of the word from Mdthd , or Mdthd, 

“ to kill,” I have translated Mdthd Kudr as the “ Dead 
Prince,” which I refer to Buddha himself after his death, or, 
in the language of the Buddhists, after his obtainment of 
Nirvana. Hwen Thsang, when speaking of Sakya's as- 
sumption of the mendicant’s dress, calls him Kumdra Raja, 
or the “ Royal Prince;” but, although this title was never, I 
believe, applied to him by the learned after his assumption of 
Buddhahood, it does not seem at all improbable that it may 
have remained in common use amongst the people. We 

* See a previous note at p. 76, quoting the description of ilegastlienes, that the 
Indian tumuli were “ low mounds of earth,” 



know from Hwen Tlisang tliat on the spot where Buddha 
died there was a brick vihdr or temple monastery in which 
was enshrined a recumbent statue of Buddha on his death- 
bed, with his head turned to the north. Now this statue 
would naturally have been the principal object of veneration 
at Kusinagara ; and, although amongst the learned it might 
have been called the “ statue of the Nirvana” yet I can 
readily believe that its more popular name amongst all classes 
would have been the “statue of the Dead Prince.” Iam, 
therefore, of opinion that the name of Mdtha Knar, which 
still clings to the ruins of Kasia, has a direct reference to the 
death of Buddha, which, according to his followers, took place 
at Kusinagara on the full moon of Yaisakh, 5-13 B. C. 

Owing to the wanderings of the Little Gandak Elver, 
it is somewhat difficult to follow Hwen Thsang’s account of 
the sacred edifices at Kusinagara. The whole of the existing 
remains are situated to the eastward of the Khanua Nala, 
which is only a branch or inundation channel of the Little 
Gandak Biver. All the old channels are called Chawar ; 
the Lambuha Chawar , running between the two ancient 
stupas, and the Koha Chawar, or Eolia Nala, to the east of 
the Bamabhar Tila. An intelligent man, whom I met at 
Padraona, called the stream to the westward of Kasia the 
Kir ana, hut the people in the villages about the ruin knew 
only the Klianiia Nala, and had never heard of the Kirana. 
Buchanan, however, calls the Kirana a considerable rivulet 
which has a course of about 15 miles, and makes it a feeder 
of the .Little Gandak;* but there is some confusion in his 
description of this river. The changes of name would, how- 
ever, appear to have been as numerous as the changes of 
channel ; for, in the time of Hwen Tlisang, this stream was 
called the Ajitavati, its more ancient name having been 
Kiranyavati, while the present name is Chota Ganclah, and 
the eastern inundation branch is called Khanua. There is 
now no trace of Hwen Thsang’s Ajitavati, but the name of 
Kiranyavati is still preserved in the Hirana of my Padraona 

At the time of Hwen Thsang’s visit, the walls of Ku- 
sinagara were in ruins, and the place was almost deserted; 
but the brick foundations of the old Capital occupied a 

* Eastern India, IT., p. 31t>. 




circuit of about 12 li, that is, of about two miles. After a long 
and attentive comparison of all our available information, I 
have come to the conclusion that the famous city of Kusina- 
gara must have occupied the site of the mound and village 
of Anrudlrwa. The ruined mound, which is about 500 
feet square, I would identify as the site of the Palace 
of the Mallian Kings, which was in the midst of the city, 
and to the city itself I would assign an extent of about 
1,000 feet on all sides of the palace. This would give a 
square area of 2,500 feet, or nearly half a mile on each side, 
with a circuit of 10,000 feet, or nearly 2 miles, as recorded 
by Hwen Thsang. I will now compare the existing remains 
with the account of the Chinese pilgrim, and with the details 
given in the Pali Annals of Ceylon, as translated by Tumour. 

The spot where Buddha died is fixed by Hwen Thsang 
at 3 or 1 li, or rather more than half a mile, to the north-west 
of the city, in a forest of sal trees, at a short distance from 
the western bank of the Ajitavati Biver. The distance and 
direction correspond exactly with the site of the great mound 
now called the Port of Mdtlid Kuar. On this spot was erect- 
ed a great brick vihar or temple monastery, in which was 
enshrined a statue of Buddha in a recumbent posture as he 
appeared when about to enter Nirvana. This vihar I would 
identify with the extensive mass of ruin marked K. in my 
survey of the site at the western end of the mound. Beside 
the vihar there was a stupa, 200 feet in height, built by 
Asoka, and a stone pillar, on which was recorded the history 
of the Nirvana, or death of Buddha. This stupa I would 
identify with the foundation or lower part of the brick tower 
marked A., now standing on the mound, and of which an 
account has already been given. Hwen Thsang describes 
two smaller stupas, and then a third grand stupa which 
stood on the spot where Brahman Subhadra had entered into 
Nirvana * As the whole of the buildings above described as 
well as three small stupas were clustered together around the 
spot where Buddha was said to have died, their ruins, in the 
lapse of ages, would naturally have formed a single large 
mound of irregular outline, in all respects similar to the 
mass of ruins now called Mathd-Kuar-ka-kot. I think, there- 
fore, that no reasonable doubt can now remain against the 
identification of Kasia with the ancient Kusinagara. With 

Tliis lust I would identify with the high point in the centre of the mound marked B. 



regard to tlie slight difference of name, I have already stated 
my belief that the name of the present village should in all 
probability be written Kiista instead of Kastci, and in favour 
of this spelling I may add that the name is variously spelt 
in the Buddhist Books as Kusigrdmaka , Kusindra, Kusvnd- 
gara , and Kusinagari. 

After the death of Buddha, the assembled Bhikshus (or 
mendicants) were consoled by the Venerable Aniruddha, who 
assured them that he saw the Devatas looking down from 
the skies upon earth, and weeping and bewailing with 
dishevelled hair and up-lifted arms.* Aniruddha was the first 
cousin of Buddha, being the second son of Amitodana, one 
of the brothers of Suddhodana, the father of Sakya Sinka. 
He was one of the ten great disciples of his cousin, and was 
renowned for his penetrating sight. Accordingly, on the 
death of Buddha, he took the lead of all the disciples present, 
and conducted their proceedings. By his directions Ananda 
made known the death of Buddha to the Mallian Nobles, who 
at once proceeded to the spot with garlands of flowers, and 
numerous cloths and music. Bor six days the body lay in 
state, attended by the people of Kusinara. On the seventh 
day, when eight of the Mallian Nobles, who had been select- 
ed to carry the corpse to the place of cremation, attempted to 
lift it, they found themselves unable to move it. The amazed 
Nobles, on enquiring of the Venerable Aniruddha the 
cause of this prodigy, were informed that their intention of 
carrying the corpse through the southern gate to the south of 
the city was contrary to the intention of the Devatas. “ Lord,” 
said the Mallian Nobles, “ whatever be the intention of the 
Devatas, be it acceded to.” Accordingly, the corpse was borne 
by the eight Mallian Chieftains, on a bier formed of their lances, 
through the northern gate to the centre of the town, and then 
through the eastern gate to the coronation hall of the Mallians, 
where the funeral pile had been prepared. Pour N oble Mallians 
then advanced and applied their torches to the funeral pile, 
but they were unable to ignite it. Again the baffled Nobles 
inquired of Aniruddha the cause of this second prodigy, 
who informed them that it was the intention of the 
Devatas that the corpse should not be burnt until the arrival 
of Maha Kasyapa, the chief disciple of Buddha. At that 

* Tumour in Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1838, p. 1009. 



moment Kasyapa was on liis way from Ttiwd to Kusindra. On 
liis arrival he perambulated the pile three times, and then 
opening it at the end, he reverentially bowed down his head 
at the feet of Buddha. As he rose, the pile spontaneously 
ignited, and the corpse of the great teacher was consumed. 

I have given this long account of the obsequies of 
Buddha for the express purpose of showing the very promi- 
nent part that was taken by Aniruddha in all the proceed- 
ings. He first consoled the disciples on the death of Buddha ; 
he then explained the causes of the miracles why the Mal- 
lian N obles were unable at first to lift the corpse of Buddha, 
and afterwards to ignite the funeral pile ; and lastly, accord- 
ing to Hwen Thsang, he ascended to the heavens to inform 
Maya Devi, the mother of Buddha, of her son’s death. As the 
whole of these acts were performed at Kusinara, we might 
not unreasonably suppose that some memorial monument of 
Aniruddha would have been erected there. There is, how- 
ever, no record of such a monument in Hwen Thsang’s ac- 
count of the sacred edifices at Kusinagara ; hut I think it 
more than probable that the village of Anrudhwa must have 
received its name from some former memorial of the far- 
sighted Aniruddha, the cousin of Buddha. In Sheet 102 of 
the Indian Atlas the name of this village is spelt Aniroodwa, 
which is more correct than the name written down for me 
by a Brahman of the place. The existence of this name in 
the immediate vicinity of the ancient monuments of Kusm 
must, I think, add considerable weight to all the other evi- 
dence in favour of the identification of Kusia with the ancient 

There is a discrepancy between the Ceylonese annals 
and the accounts of the Chinese pilgrim regarding the site 
of Buddha’s cremation. According to the Pali annals above 
quoted, the corpse must have been burnt somewhere to the 
eastward of the city, and with this account Pa-Hian would 
seem to agree, for he places the scene of Buddha’s death to 
the northward of the town. Hwen Thsang, however, places 
the site of the cremation to the northward of the city, across 
the Biver Hiranyavati. I think that these different accounts 
may, perhaps, be reconciled by identifying the stupa of the 
cremation with the large brick mound called the lldmdbhdr 
Tila , which being situated opposite to the north-east corner 
of the Anrudhwa mound (or ancient city as I suppose), might 

vta u xycvta 



of th.e Buin« nX> 




■>. n 


1 . in pit 

' YonhaUthl 

- Sahaj^ar- 

A. Statue of Vishnu. 

B. Siva-ka-Tila. 

(J. Lingam Temple. 

J). Various Statues. 

E. (excavated) 

E. Statue of Vishnu 
G. H. L. M. Small mounds 

J. Statue of Vishnu. 

K. Largest mound. 

N. Lingam Temple. 

O. P. ft. XJ. Small mounds 
Q. T. Y. Low mounds. 

S. Jug Bhira mound. 

V. IV. A'. Low Mounds. 

Z. (excavated) 2 Stupa. 

fcirwa ' Tab 

s c i si*, if * *** 

JhakrahL - G-u 



of the TUmi* at 

Tureno - 


- GriO 

S. OX Fts* 


the Surrr. Genl’s. Office. Cal. October 1371 

A.Ounwngham »*«•! Litho. at 



Lave been loosely described by one party as lying to tbe 
north, and by the other as lying to the east. 

But the Bamabhar Tila, perhaps, corresponds more exact- 
ly with the site of another stupa, which is described by Hwen 
Thsang as having been built by Asoka near the ancient 
dwelling of Chanda, to the nortli-east of the city gates. This 
account, however, is somewhat vague, as no particular gate is 
specified. The existence also of a second stupa at the south- 
east foot of the Jldmdblidr Tila is against this identification, 
as only one stupa is mentioned on this site by Hwen Thsang. 
I am, therefore, strongly inclined to identify the Tdmabhdr Tila 
with the famous cremation stupa ; but if this position should 
be considered too far to the eastward to agree with Hwen 
Thsang’s description, then the cremation tower must have 
occupied some position to the north of the Anrudhwa mound 
in the very midst of the ancient channel of the little Gandak 
Biver. I confess, however, that my own opinion is against 
this conclusion, and in favor of the identification of the 
Bamabhar Tila with the cremation stupa. 


On leaving Kusinagara Hwen Thsang directed his steps 
towards Banaras, and, after having travelled about 200 li, 
or upwards of 30 miles, to the south-west, he reached a large 
town, in which dwelt a very rich Brahman devoted to 
Buddhism.* If we adhere closely to the south-west bearing, 
we must identify this large town with Budrapur, an ancient 
place 30 miles to the south-east of Gorakhpur, and 28 miles 
in a direct line from Kasia. But as Hwen Thsang speaks 
of the Brahman’s hospitality to travellers going and coming, 
it would appear certaiu that the town must have been on the 
high road leading from Kasia to Banaras. Now the high 
road can never have passed through Budrapur, as it would 
have entailed the passage of the llapti in addition to that 
of the Ghagra Biver. I have had some experience in the 
laying out of roads, and I feel quite satisfied that the old 
high road must have crossed the Ghagra somewhere below 
its junction with the Bapti. According to the people, the 
old passage of the Ghagra was at Maili, four miles to the south 
of Kahaon, and three miles to the north of Bhagalpur. Broni 

* Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., p. 349, 



Kasia to tins ghat on the Ghagra, the road would have 
passed through the ancient town of Kliukhundo, and the 
large villages of Kahaon and BMgalpur. Of these three, 
Kliukhundo corresponds best with the description of a large 
town; and as it is 27 miles from Kasia by the present straight 
road, it must have been about 30 miles by the winding 
Native tracks. I believe, therefore, that it is the large town 
described by Hwen Thsang in which a rich Brahman had 
spent his wealth in the magnificent decoration of a Buddhist 
monastery. Kliukhundo is not now a place of any note 
amongst the Brahmans, hut it is often visited by Agarwal 
Srawaks from Gorakhpur and Patna, who have built a small 
Jain temple amongst the ruins. By them its proper name 
is said to be Kishkindapura, so called from Kishkinda , a 
mountain in the south of India, famous in the history of 
Kama. Kliukhundo must, therefore, have been a Brahmanical 

The remains at Kliukhundo consist of a few large tanks, 
and a number of low mounds covered with broken brick and 
thick jungle. The ruins which lie scattered about over 
the plain, and amongst the fields to the south of Khukhundo, 
cover nearly one square mile of ground. All the larger 
mounds are square in form, and are beyond all doubt the 
ruins of temples. There are a few low oblong heaps which 
may possibly he the ruins of long ranges of inferior build- 
ings, but I think it more probable that they are only the col- 
lections of brick from the fields. Every large mound has 
at least one fine lofty tree growing on its summit, and to the 
destructive power of the roots of these trees I would attri- 
bute the overthrow of the Khukhundo temples. I verified 
this opinion in one instance, that of mound K., by an excava- 
tion which showed the floor of a temple completely broken 
up by the wide-spreading roots of a fine Tamarind tree. 
Another notable instance is that of a temple at Kahaon, 
which was standing at the time of Buchanan’s visit, hut 
which is now only a low mound of brick ruin. Its over- 
throw is attributed by all the villagers to a Pipal tree, which 
stands close by the ruin. 

The mounds of Khukhundo are about 30 in number, hut 
not more than three of them have any names, the rest being 
called simply Dcorci, or “ mounds.” In my survey of the 



ruins I have distinguished them by different letters of the al- 
phabet, and under these letters I w ill now describe them.* 

Mound A. is 100 feet square at base and 6 feet in height. 
There is a Bel tree (iEglc Marmelos) on the top, and a Bdkar 
(Eicus Venosa) on the west side. Under the Bel tree there 
is a good figure of the four-armed Vishnu in sandstone, with 
a peculiar rayed halo, which is boldly pierced through the 

Mound B., which is 50 feet square at base and 10 feet 
high, is called Siva-ka-Tila or Siva’s mound, because there 
are the foundations of a Ungam temple on its summit ; the 
temple was only 8 feet square, but the ling am in blue stone 
is still perfect. There is one good piece of sculpture repre- 
senting two seated figures, male and female, the latter with 
a child in her arms. A tree rises behind them, and with its 
branches forms a canopy over their heads. The figures, 
which appear to be entirely naked with the exception of 
some ornaments, are, I believe, Mahadeva and his wife Devi, 
or Bhawani, represented as the goddess of fecundity, with a 
child in her arms. Another sculpture represents a four- 
armed female standing in what appears to be the prow of a 
boat. The subordinate figure of Gansea, on the upper right 
hand, shows that the principal figure must be Parvati, the 
wife of Siva. 

Mound C. is 120 feet in length, by 110 feet in breadth, 
and 15 feet in height. On the top there are the ruined walls 
of a brick temple, from 4 to 5 feet in height, forming a room 
of 9 feet square, with a lingam in the centre. To the south- 
west there is a walled entrance built of bricks of different 
sizes, and containing one piece of moulded bricks with a 
flower ornament. The small size of the room, the mixture of 
large and small bricks in the walls, and the unusual direction 
of the entrance, all lead me to conclude that this is an 
insignificant modern structure, built of bricks of all kinds 
found on the surface of the mound. 

On both sides of the entrance there are several sculptures 
in sandstone, of which the principal is a statue of Ganesa. 
The other sculptures are a broken statue of Ganesa with his 
rat ; the pedestal of a statue with a foot resting on a bull ; 

# See Plate XXVIII. for a plan of these ruins. 



a four-armed female, most probably Parvati, attended by two 
heavenly musicians ; and a slab containing personifications 
of the Navcigraha, or “ Nine Planets.” 

Mound D., which is 100 feet square at base and 15 feet 
in height, is crowned with a fine Banian tree. Beneath 
the tree are collected several pieces and fragments of sculp- 
ture, which are partly Brahmanical and partly Jain. The 
principal sculpture represents a four-armed seated male 
figure, with beard and moustaches, his right foot resting on 
a bull. In his four hands he holds a two-pronged sceptre, 
a necklace, a ball, and square pole. This is probably a figure 
of Siva. A second statue represents the four-armed Yislmu 
standing, and holding in three hands a club, a quoit, and a 
shell, the fourth hand being open with a lotus flower marked 
on the palm. A third sclupture is the pedestal of a statue 
with some naked figures on the face of it, and an antelope 
in the middle. The antelope is the cognizance of Santanath, 
the lGth Jain hierarch. A fourth stone is simply the pedestal 
of a lingam. The remaining sculptures are two pairs of 
apparently naked figures, male and female, seated — the latter 
with a child in her arms. These two sculptures are similar 
to one in the Siva Temple on mound B., which I have sup- 
posed to represent Mahadeva and his wife Bhawani as the 
goddess of fecundity. But in these two sculptures the god 
has a small naked figure of Buddha fixed in the front of his 
head-dress, from which I infer that these figures probably 
belong to the Jain religion, while that on mound B. certainly 
belongs to the Brahmanical Sliashti, the goddess of fecundity. 

Mound E. is about 75 feet square and 15 or 16 feet in 
height. It is now quite bare, the whole surface having been 
recently excavated for bricks. Any figures that may have 
been discovered were probably removed to Mound D., which 
would account for the mixture of Saiva and Vishnava sculp- 
tures now lying on its summit. 

Mound E. is 150 feet in length, by 120 feet in breadh, and 
IS feet in height. On the south slope of the mound there 
is a fine statue of the fore-armed Vishnu in blue stone 
from the quarries near Gaya. 

G. and H. are small low mounds from which bricks bave 
been recently excavated. They are probably the remains of 
inferior temples. 



Mound J., which is 75 feet square at base, and 15 feet in 
height, has also been recently excavated. I was able to trace 
the straight walls of a temple, and in the excavated holes I 
found large thick pieces of plaster, which had once covered the 
walls. There are no sculptures now lying about this mound, 
hut immediately to the south of it, and outside a small modern 
Jain temple, there is a very fine standing figure of the four- 
armed Vishnu in blue stone. The head and arms are gone, 
hut the rest of the sculpture is in good order. On the left side 
there are the Fish, the Tortoise, and the Boar Avatars ; and 
on the right the Buddha and the Kdlki Avatars. The five 
missing incarnations must have been lost with the head of the 
figure. This fine statue was probably enshrined in a temple 
now represented by mound J. 

The Jain temple is a small square flat-roofed brick build- 
ing of recent date. There are no Jains now living at Khu- 
khundo, hut the temple is visited by the Baniyas and Bankers 
of Gorakhpur and Patna. Inside the temple there is a large 
naked figure in blue stone, sitting squatted with his hands in 
his lap. Overhead there is a triple umbrella, and above that 
a Dundubhi Musician flying with his drum. On the pedestal 
there is a hull with a lion on each side. Now the hull is the 
cognizance of Adi Buddha, the first of the 24 Jain Pontiffs. 
The people are, therefore, mistaken in calling the figure a statue 
of Tdrsivandth, whose well known symbol is a snake.* Out- 
side the temple, however, there is another naked Jain statue 
which has two snakes twisted around its pedestal, and is, there- 
fore, most probably a figure of Prdswandth. It is possible 
that this may have been the original figure enshrined in 
the temple. Another sculpture, in coarse sand-stone, repre- 
sents the same naked couple, male and female, whom I 
have before described. A tree rises behind them, and with 
its boughs forms a canopy over their heads. Over all there 
is a small squatted figure like a Buddha, hut naked. The 
male figure in this sculpture has a lotus in his right hand. 

Mound K., which is crowned with a fine Tamarind tree, 
is the largest mass of ruin at Khukhundo. It is 120 feet 
square at base and 16 feet in height. At 10 feet above the 
ground level I made an excavation at a point on the western 
edge, where I observed something like a piece of terraced 
flooring. My excavation uncovered a portion of terraced 


archaeological report, 1861-62. 

floor 9 feet square, but completely broken up by the wide- 
spreading roots of the Tamarind . Tree, which have pierced 
the mound in all directions. I found several ornamental 
bricks with boldly cut-flowers and leaves 1^ inch in depth. 
Two of these bricks, with opposite curves forming an ogee, 
had evidently belonged to a cornice. The outer faces of all 
the bricks are ground smooth, and all the edges are so sharp 
and clean that the joints between the courses of bricks must 
have been very fine indeed. As I saw no fragments of 
figures about this mound, I think it is very probable that the 
statue belonging to it may be one of those now standing 
outside the Jain temple. 

Mound N. is low and clear of jungle, having been exca- 
vated for bricks within the last few years. It is 45 feet 
square at base, but only 8 feet high. Prom its being both 
low and clear I thought it favourable for excavation. I dug 
a circular hole of about 8 feet diameter in the top of the 
mound, and near the middle, at a depth of only 1 foot I came 
upon a stone Yoni, or receptacle for a ling am, fixed in its 
original position, with the spout end turned towards the 
north. Further excavation showed that the floor had been 
broken up, but the marks of the original floor level were 
quite distinct on the centre stone. As there were no traces 
of any figures, I gave up the excavation, which had already 
been sufficient to determine that the mound N. is the ruin of 
a ling a temple, dedicated to the god Mahadeva. 

Mound S. is 100 feet in length, by 60 feet in breadth, and 
12 feet in height towards its western end. The top is crowned 
with two fine Siris Trees, under which there is a life-size 
standing figure in stand-stone. The nose and forehead have 
been lost by a split of the stone, which must have been as 
old as the figure itself, for there are two holes in the split 
face which still retain bits of the metal clamps that were 
used in repairing the statue. The figure has apparently had 
four arms, and is called Jug -blur a, or Jug-vtra, “ the Champion 
of the Age,” a title which might be applied appropriately to 
Vira, or Mahavira, the last of the 24th J ain hierarchs and 
the pontiff of the present age. 

Mound Z. is a long low mass of ruin to the south- west of 
Ivhukhundo, half hidden admits bambus. I found a recent 
excavation at the western end of the mound, from which the 



bricks could not have been removed above a few days, as the 
sides of tlie excavated hole still preserved the shape of the 
walls exactly. In form the building was an octagon of 14 
feet across, with projections on the four sides facing the 
cardinal points. On the north-east side a portion of solid 
brick-work still remained, but not of sufficient thickness to 
show whether the building had been solid or hollow. As far 
as my experience goes, the only buildings of this shape are 
Buddhist stupas, as at Dhamnar and Kholvi in Malwa, or 
Baragaon (or Nalanda ) in Bihar, and throughout Pegu and 
Burmah. In all instances the four projecting sides form 
niches for statues of the previous Buddhas. In the gigantic 
Shwe-Dagon stupa at Bangoon, these niches are expanded 
into distinct temples enshrining colossal figures. I incline, 
therefore, to conclude that the building recently excavated in 
mound Z. was a Buddhist stupa. But if Brahmanical temples 
of this form have ever been built, I should certainly prefer 
to consider mound Z. as the ruin of another orthodox temple, 
and to add one more to the long list of Brahmanical remains 
at Khukhundo. 

With the exception of Baragaon (the ancient Nalanda), 
I have seen no place where the ruins offer such a promise of 
valuable discovery as at Khukhundo. The mounds are all 
low, and as they appear to be the ruins of temples, the work 
of excavation would be comparatively easy. I think that it 
would be sufficient to remove the top of each mound down 
to the level of the floor of the building, clearing away the 
rubbish entirely, but leaving the walls standing to show the 
plan of the building. Amongst the rubbish we might expect 
to find both statues and inscriptions, and perhaps other objects, 
all of which would help to throw light on the rise and pro- 
gress of modern Brahmanism, more particularly during the 
long period of its struggles with expiring Buddhism.* 


The village of Kahaon is situated eight miles to the 
south of Khukhundo, and 46 miles to the south-east of 
Gorakhpur in a direct line. To the north of the village there is 
a stone pillar, and also some other remains, which have been 

* As far as I am aware nothing has yet been done towards the excavation of these 



described by Dr. Buchanan* and by Mr. Liston. + Dr.Buclianan 
calls the village Kangho, but the name is written Kahaon, 
or Kahdwan, by the people of the place, and I can only 
surmise that Buchanan’s Kangho may have been originally 
written Kanghon, and that the final nasal has been omitted 
by mistake, either in copying or in printing. In the inscrip- 
tion on the pillar the village would seem to be called Kaku- 
bharati ; and from some compound of Kakubha, such as 
Kaknhhaican, the name of Kahdwan would be naturally 

The remains at Kahaon consist of an inscribed stone 
pillar, an old well, two ruined temples, and several tanks. 
The whole of these, together with the village itself, are situat- 
ed on a low but extensive mound of brick ruin. Although 
the mound is of rather irregular outline on the east side, it 
may be best described as a square of nearly 500 yards 4 The 
village occupies the south-western quarter of the square, and 
contains some fine old wells built of very large bricks, which 
are a sure sign of antiquity. The tanks, which would seem to 
have been connected with the old buildings, are all called gar , 
the meaning of which I was unable to ascertain, but which, 
as applied to water, must certainly be derived from the Sans- 
krit gri, to wet. These tanks are, 1st, the Tdurena-gar, a 
dirty pond immediately to the north of the village ; 2nd, the 
Karhahi-gar, a small deep pond at the north-west angle of 
the ruins ; 3rd, the Jhakralii-gar, another small pond at the 
north-east angle, which is also called Sophd-gar ; and 4th, a 
large sheet of water to the east of the village called Askdmini, 
or Akdskdmini-gar. This is the tank which Buchanan calls 
Karhahi, a misprint probably for Kdmini. Prom the size and 
appearance of the Askdmini Tank, I conclude that from it 
must have been excavated all the bricks and earth for the con- 
struction of the temples and village of Kahaon. 

The Kahaon Pillar is a single block of coarse grey sand- 
stone, 24 feet 3 inches in height from the ground to the 
metal spike on the top. The existence of this spike shows 
that the pillar has once been crowned by a pinnacle of some 
kind, perhaps by a statue of a lion, or of some other animal 

* Eastern India, II., p. 366. 
f Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1838, p. 33. 
I See Plate XXVIII. 

Tiai* XXIX 

A funnmghsm iei ■ 

Lith Surv Gen ^ Office Calcutta June 1871 



rampant; but whatever the pinnacle may have been, its 
height could not have exceeded 2^ or 3 feet. The total height 
of the column, therefore, must have been about 27 feet. The 
lower part of the shaft, to a height of 4^ feet, is a square of 
1 foot 10 inches ; above this, for a height of 6 feet 3 inches, 
it is octagonal ; then sixteen-sided for a height of 5 feet 
10^ inches ; and then circular for a height of 2 feet 1^ inch. 
Above this, for a height of 9 inches, the pillar becomes 
square with a side of 18 inches, and then circular again for 
a height of 4^ inches, making the total height of the shaft 
19 feet 10^ inches. The height of the capital, in its present 
incomplete state, is 4 feet 4^ inches. The lower portion, 
which is 2^ feet high, is bell-shaped, with circular bands of 
moulding both above and below. The bell itself is reeded, 
after the fashion of the Asoka pillars. Above this the capital 
is square, with a small niche on each side holding a naked 
standing figure. The square top slopes backward on all sides, 
and is surmounted by a low circular band, in which is fixed 
the metal spike already described.* * * § 

On the western face of the square base there is a niche 
holding a naked standing figure, with very long arms reach- 
ing to his knees. Behind, there is a large snake folded in 
horizontal coils, one above the other, and with its seven heads 
forming a canopy over the idol. Two small figures, male 
and female, are kneeling at the feet, and looking up to the 
idol with offerings in their hands. 

On the three northern faces of the octagonal portion of 
the pillar, there is an inscription of 12 lines in the Gupta 
characters of the Allahabad Pillar.f There is a good copy 
of this inscription in Buchanan, J and another and better 
copy in Prinsep’s Journal. § In the translation given by 
James Prinsep, the date was read as being 133 years after 
the decease of Skanda Gupta, instead of in the year 133, 
after the death of Skanda. The true number of the year is 
141, as pointed out by Professor BitzEdward Hall, but the 
epoch or era in which the years are reckoned is doubtful. 
Professor Hall, on the authority of Bdpa Deva Sdstri, the 

* See Plate XXIX. 

t See Plate XXX. 

t Eastern India, II., Plate V. 

§ Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 18J8, Plate I. 



learned Astronomer of the Banaras College prefers the era of 
Yikramdditya, hut I am inclined to adopt that of Sake ; and 
this era, I believe, is also preferred by Mr. Thomas. The 
difference between the two is 135 years. If dated in the 
Vikrama era, the pillar must have been erected in 141 — 57 
= 84 A. I). ; but if dated in the Sake era, the period of its 
erection will be 141 + 78 = 219 A. D. The latter date, I 
think, accords best with the now generally admitted epoch 
of the overthrow of the Gupta Dynasty in A. D. 319. 

The purport of the inscription, as translated by Prinsep, 
is simply to record the dedication of five images of Indra by 
one Madra, who calls himself “ the constant and friendly 
patron of Brahmans, Gurus, and Yatis,” or Brahmans, reli- 
gious teachers, and sages,” or Ascetics who have subdued their 
passions. In the present day the term Yati is, I believe, 
applied only to a Jain Priest; and, although at first the 
mention of Brahmans would seem to preclude any reference 
to the Jain religion, yet the Yatis themselves are usually, 
if not always, Brahmans, and the naked figures with crisp 
curled hair, on the base and capital of the pillar, must be- 
long either to the Jains, or to the latter Tdntrika Buddhists. 
I found a similar naked standing figure, canopied by a seven- 
headed snake, inside the great mound of old Baj agriha. 

Both of the temples described by Buchanan* are now 
in ruins ; and as they are not mentioned by Mr. Liston in 
1S37, they must have fallen before his visit. Buchanan 
describes them as pyramidal in form, with two apartments, 
one over the other, as in the great temple at Buddba-Gaya. 
Inside he found only two fragments of images, of which 
one showed the feet of a standing figure with a female 
votary seatednt one side. I made an excavation in the northern 
ruin, and found that the temple had consisted of a room 9 feet 
square with walls only 1 foot 9 inches in thickness. The build- 
ing, therefore, was only 12 feet 6 inches square on the outside. 
In the slight sketch of this temple given hy Buchanan, no 
dimensions are noted, but the height of the building is twice 
and a half its width, or about 30 feet, according to the mea- 
surement obtained by my excavation. On the ruin of the 
southern temple, I found a naked standing figure of life-size, 
similar to that on the base of the pillar. 

* Eastern India, II., p. 367. 

Plate XXX. 

Inscription on the Bhitan Piliar. 

3 1 v x^r^ tu ^}.'®5^i XJR r E ’® 

j jjp^gjw ^TEf^T^ I©? 

| r ssJJhsi § u ]v ; 

6 l ^ric7tJj&y’ E^rES§^a^H^2^«W^f|«flN:V^ iru, nS9i s i5 ’* li l 

1 vfw^xi aT^aijjg'g ?\eu if : <£\& C fjX% 2 1 ; 

'a? V 9 t « a:^aV | s 

9 I UoZ^ # Og^3|0ljj ^jftw«Vzi 9 Ks)1Z£j&X UJtZt/6^ 

MX/?# &JbQi r l2$ffi «3 J vrZygij 

* ■ « ft 

m |*am jf^exi , . 

I 1 I 

N. S. The thin lines with No. over them denote the corresponding lines of the 

lower inscription on the Bihar Pillar. 



Inscription on the Kahaon Pillar. 

<«3gt%4^»^<t>|'3 T: Mff'Tf »| 
wnjyfi'a^eas'aa^f] * 

’\&§W*igS' st 'K 


A. Cunningham, del. 

Fhotozmr ogp aph.e d ax tiip Surveyor General’s Offi.ce Calcutta. 





Immediately to the north of the pillar, and on the high- 
est point of the mound, there are traces of the brick Avails of 
some buildings; and to the south-east, there is an old well 
which has been lately filled up. Buchanan describes the pillar 
as having originally “ stood in a small quadrangular area, sur- 
rounded by a brick wall, and probably by some small cham- 
bers.” I presume that the pillar must have been placed 
opposite the entrance of the temple, in which the Panchendra 
or five images of Indra were enshrined. It is probable that 
there were several temples and other buildings crowded 
around the pillar, otherwise it will he difficult to account for 
the great size of the mound, which, though not more than 6 
feet in height above the fields, extends from west to east up- 
wards of 1,200 feet, with an average breadth of 400 feet. 


Twelve miles to the east of Deogong, and nearly mid- 
way between Azimgarh and Banaras, there is an old dry tank, 
called Eathiya-dah, or the “ Elephant’s Tank,” with an in- 
scribed pillar standing in the middle of it. The pillar itself 
is called PLathiya-dah-ka-ldt. The name is derived from a 
large stone elephant, 5 feet 6 inches in length, and 4 feet 
10 inches in height, which stands to the north-west of the 
pillar, at a distance of 138 feet. Both the pillar and the 
elephant are formed of a coarse grey sand-stone, and they 
have accordingly suffered from exposure to the weather, and 
are now much worn. The shaft of the pillar is a single 
block, 12 feet 9 inches in height and 1 foot 5J inches in dia- 
meter, both at base and top. Originally it must have been 
several feet higher, but the bed of the tank has gradually 
silted up, and in the month of March bore a fine crop of 
wheat. The capital is a flat circular slab, slightly rounded 
on the upper edge, and quite plain. In fact, the pillar is a 
mere cylindrical block intended apparently for the sole pur- 
pose of exhibiting the inscription. To the west of the pil- 
lar there is a low mound of brick ruins, 170 feet in length 
from north to south, and 25 feet broad. It is called Siwari- 
ka-TUa, or “ Siwaris’ Mound;” but the people have no tra- 
dition about it, and do not know what is the meaning of the 
names. Most probably it has some reference to a temple 
of Siva, which may have stood there in former days. The 
villages nearest to the pillar are Singhpura to the north, 



Noioa Rasiya to the east, Pakari to the south-east, Dehluto 
to the south-west. 

The pillar is said by the people to have been set up by 
Raja Gajpat Singh in Samvat 207, or A. D. 150 ; but both 
name and date are wrong. Gajapati, or “Lord of Ele- 
phants,” is only one of the titles of the king in whose reign 
the pillar was erected, and the date is Samvat 1207, or A. I). 
1150. This inscription occupies 10 lines, but as the letters 
are large and coarsely cut, it is not a long one. It records 
the excavation of the tank by several Thd/curs, of whom the 
chief is “ Pellan Thalcur, the Treasurer (Bhandagarika) of 
Gosalla Devi, the Queen (Mahdraji) of Baja Govinda 
Chandra Deva, the Lord of Horses, Lord of Elephants, and 
Lord of Men, on Thursday, the 5tli of the waning moon of 
Ashdrh, in Samvat 1207.” The record is not of much value, 
but it is of later date, by 25 years, than any inscription 
hitherto found of the Rahtor Prince Govinda Chandra Leva 
of Kanoj. 


The large village of Bhitari is situated on the left bank 
of the Gd.nyi Nadi nearly midway between Banaras and 
Ghazipur, and five miles to the north north-east of Saidpur. 
The Gangi River, which surrounds the village on three sides, 
is crossed by an old stone bridge of early Muhammedan 
style. The oldest bridge consisted of only two small 
arches, to which two others have since been added at 
different times. Bhitari has once been a town of some 
consequence, and it is still a considerable village, with 
a great number of brick-houses. Both in speaking and in 
writing, its name is usually coupled with that of another place 
in its vicinity as Saidpur Bhitari. It is thus designated in 
the Ain Akbari, but the name has been strangely misread by 
Gladwin as Syedpoor Nemedy * a mistake that must be due 
to the faulty nature of the Persian character in which his 
original was written, as its alphabet is utterly unsuited for 
the correct record of proper names. 

The remains at Bhitari consist of several ruined brick 
mounds, an inscribed stone pillar, and a few pieces of sculp- 

* English Translation, II., p. 2l)2. 



ture. Some of the mounds appear to he mere heaps of 
broken stone and brick — the gatherings from the fields after 
each season’s ploughing. The larger mounds, which run 
parallel to each other from the bridge towards the village, 
seem to me to be only the ruins of houses that once formed 
the two sides of a street. The remaining mounds, which 
are of square form and isolated, are at present covered with 
Musalman tombs ; but I have little doubt that all of them 
were originally either temples or other Hindu buildings. 
That one of these mounds belonged originally to the Hindus, 
we have an undoubted proof in the existence of the inscribed 
stone pillar, which stands partially buried in the rubbish 
of its eastern slope, and in the discovery at the foot of the 
pillar of an old brick inscribed with the name of Sri Kumdra 
Gupta. The early occupation of the place by the Hindus 
is further proved by the discovery of several Hindu statues 
and lingams in the rubbish about the mounds, and by the 
finding of numerous bricks inscribed with Kumdra Gupta's 
name in the fields.* I obtained further proof of the same 
by the purchase on the spot of three Indo-Sassanian coins of 
base silver, which probably date from the 8th or 9th century, 
and of one small round copper coin with an elephant on the 
obverse, and a peculiar symbol, supposed to be a Chaitya , 
on the reverse, which cannot, in my opinion, be of later 
date than the invasion of Alexander the Great. 

The Bhitari Pillar is a single block of reddish sand-stone, 
apparently from one of the Chunar quarries. The shaft of 
the pillar is circular, with a diameter of 2 feet 4|- inches, and 
a height of 15 feet 5 inches.! The base is square, but its 
height is rather uncertain. The upper portion, on which the 
inscription is cut, has been smoothed, but the lower portion, 
as far as my excavation went, still bears the marks of the 
chisel, although not very deep. My excavation was carried 
down to the level of the adjoining fields, a depth of 6 feet 
9 inches below the top of the base, without finding any trace 
of a pedestal ; and as it is most probable that the inscrip- 
tion was placed on a level with the eye, I- would fix the 
height of the original base at about 6 feet, thus giving it an 
elevation of only 9 inches above the level of the country. 

* See Plate XXX. for sketches of these bricks. 

+ See Plate XXIX. for a view of this pillar. 




The capital is 3 feet 2 inches in height, hell-shaped, and 
reeded like the capitals of the Asoka Pillars. A large por- 
tion of the capital is broken of on the western side, thus 
exposing a deep narrow socket, which could only have held 
a metal spike. The upper portion of the shaft also is split 
to a depth of about 2 feet. The people say that the pillar 
was struck by lightning many years ago. It certainly was 
in the same state when I first saw it in January 1836, and 
I know of only one reason to make me doubt the accuracy 
of the people’s statements, namely, that both the iron pillar 
at Delhi, and the stone pillar at Namndgarh Lciuriya, have 
been wantonly injured by cannon shot. If the capital of 
the Bliitari Pillar had been surmounted by a statue of any 
kind, as it most propably was when the Muhammadans first 
settled there, I think that the breaking of the capital may 
be attributed to their destructive bigotry with quite as much 
probability as to lightning. I found a portion of the broken 
capital in my excavation at the foot of the pillar. 

The inscription, which is cut on the eastern side of the 
base, consists of 19 lines of well shaped characters of the 
early Gupta period. Unfortunately, this face is much wea- 
ther-worn, and the stone has also peeled off in several places, 
so that the inscription is now in even a worse condition than 
when I first saw it in January 1836. The copy which I 
then made by eye I compared letter by letter with the origi- 
nal inscription on the spot, and, although I found several 
errors in different parts of the inscription, yet the only seri- 
ous one is an omission of five letters in the 15th line. I 
made also an impression of the inscription over which I 
pencilled all the letters as they appeared to the eye. This is, 
indeed, the only successful method of copying a weather-worn 
inscription ; for the edges of the letters being very much 
rounded, an impression gives only a number of confused and 
shapeless spots, although many of the letters being deeply 
cut are distinctly legible, and may easily be copied by the 
eye. The value of an impression thus pencilled over is very 
great, as it ensures accuracy in the number of letters, and 
thus most effectually prevents all errors, both of insertion 
and omission. The copy which I have thus made is, I be- 
lieve, as perfect as it is possible to obtain now, considering 
the weather-worn state of the letters.* 

* See Plate XXX. for a copy of tins inscription. 



From the copy which I prepared in January 1S3G, a 
translation was made by Fr. Mill, which was published in 
Prinsep’s Journal for January 1837. My re-examination of 
the inscription has corrected some of Fr. Mill’s proposed 
readings, while it has confirmed many of them, a few being 
still doubtful owing to the abraded state of the letters. As 
translated by Fr. Mill, the inscription refers chiefly to the 
reign of Skanda Gupta , closing with his death, and the 
accession of his infant son. The object of the inscription 
was to record the erection of a sacred image, the name of 
which Fr. Mill was unable to read, but which may possibly be 
recovered when my new copy is re-translated by some com- 
petent scholar. In my remarks on the lower inscription on 
the Bihar Pillar, I have already noticed that all the remain- 
ing part of the itpper portion of it, which contains the 
genealogy, is letter for letter identical with the first part of 
Bhitari record, and I repeat the notice here for the purpose 
of adding that, by a comparison of the two inscriptions, every 
letter of the upper part of both, or about one-third of the 
whole, may be restored without chance of error.* 

The sculptures now to be seen at Bhitari are very few, 
but they are sufficient to show the former existence of several 
large stone temples. In the village there is a colossal figure 
of Ganesa, and a broken bas-relief of the Navagraha, or 
“ INine Planets.” The colossal statue must almost certainly 
have been the principal figure enshrined in a temple dedi- 
cated to Ganesa. There is also a large slab with a half-size 
two-armed female figure, attended by another female figure 
holding an umbrella over her, both in very high relief. The 
figures in this sculpture are in the same style and in the 
same attitudes as those of the similar group of the Baja and 
his umbrella attendant on the gold coins of the Gupta 
Princes. This sculpture, I believe, represents a queen on 
her way to worship at the temple. The group is a favorite, 
one with Hindu artists, and, as far as my observation goes, 
it is never used singly, but always in pairs — one on each side 
of the door-way of a temple. The age of this sculpture I 
am inclined to fix as early as the time of the Gupta Kings, 
partly on account of the similarity of style to that of their 
gold coins, partly also because the pillar belongs to one of 

* The two inscriptions may now he compared in Plates XVII. and XXX. — See my 
previous remarks in note in page 38. 


that family, but chiefly because the bricks found in various 
parts of the ruins arc stamped with the name of Sri Kumdra 

If I am right in attributing the sculptures to the time 
of the Gupta Dynasty, or from A. D. 100 to 300, then the 
Bhitari ruins will be amongst the oldest Bralimanical remains 
now knowm to us. .For this reason alone I would strongly 
advocate the excavation of all the isolated mounds, and more 
particularly of the pillar mound, in which we might expect 
to find not only all the fragments of the original capital, but 
also many sculptures and other objects belonging to the 
temple in front of which the pillar was erected. I have 
already stated that the bridge over the Gangi Elver is built 
entirely of stones taken from the ancient buildings of Bhitari. 
Many of these stones are squared, and ornamented with 
flowers and various mouldings, and on one of them I observed 
the syllable vi. This is a mere mason’s mark, but as the 
shape of the letter is the same as that of the Gupta alphabet, 
the discovery of this single character tends strongly to con- 
firm the accuracy of the date which I have already assigned 
to the Bhitari ruins on other grounds. As Bhitari is in the 
Jdgliir of the enlightened Baja Deo Narayan Singh, every 
facility for excavation would, of course, be obtained on appli- 
cation to him. 

At my recommendation the Government afterwards 
authorized a small sum for excavations, and, at my request, 
my friend Mr. C. Horne, of the Civil Service, then Judge of 
Banaras, kindly undertook to superintend the work. His 
report, which follows, gives a tolerably full and interesting 
account of this ancient place : 

“ Bhitari is a small bazaar and village situated on the 
Gangi Nadi, about 4^ miles north-east by north of Syedpur, 
on the high road from Banaras to Ghazipur. It is called 
Syedpur Bhitari, and Baja Deo Narain Singh derives 
his title from it. On approaching from the south-west by a 
good fair weather road, it presents the appearance of a very 
large ruined earthen fort. In general form it is nearly a 
rectangle,* and the only deviation from that form is caused 
by an eminence or spur running from the south-west corner, 
and which has evidently been always crowned by some 

* East face 500 yards. South 525 yards, West 685 yards, North 700 yards. 



imposing edifice. The nature of the ground has been skil- 
fully brought to hear ; and it would seem that the west face 
was merely scarped towards the river, having been originally 
very high (perhaps thirty feet), whilst to the east a large 
space has been lowered a few feet to provide earth to raise an 
embankment, in digging through which no traces of masonry 
can he found. On the south face the line is by no means 
straight, the nature of the ground having been followed, and 
the high hank of a tank already formed having been merely 
added to the north face is more regular. 

“ Each of these sides had large mounds, upon which were 
either temples or forts. There is one of these at each corner, 
and one-half way on each side, whilst the spur before alluded 
to, which forms the south-west corner, has certainly been long 
ago crowned with a large Buddhist temple, now re-placed 
with a shabby Idgah. Within this enclosure were evidently 
many large buildings, and their former presence is attested 
by the hheras or mounds of broken brick and earth scattered 
in every direction. At present there is a small- winding 
bazar of insignificant shops, all, however, built of old bricks. 
There is also a large suburb, if it may he so termed, of 
ruinous brick houses with hut few inhabitants. The surround- 
ing mounds and embankments are dotted over with Muham- 
madan tombs, mostly of very recent erection, and many of 
which are built with the large nearly-square Buddhist bricks. 

“ But to proceed to the object of this notice, viz., the 
Buddhist remains at Bhitari — Is/, there is a large monolith 
standing, as nearly as possible, in the centre of the place. 
This is 28-| feet in height, and stands upon a rough stone 
7 or 8 feet below the present level of the soil. Eor the first 
10 feet 2 inches it is square, and stands, as nearly as possible, 
facing the cardinal points. At the top of the square part 
is an inscription which is stated by General Cunningham to 
contain a record of Skanda Gupta ; this faces east. The 
upper part, including the capital which takes up about three 
feet, is circular, and where it joins the square part is 2 feet 
3 inches in diameter, and apparently of even thickness in its 
whole length. The capital is handsomely fluted, and has a 
slice broken off it. There is also a flaw near the top in the 
pillar itself, which is one solid piece of sand-stone, resembling 
that found at Chunar, being of the hard kind. 



“ The monolith is out of tlie perpendicular, and this de- 
viation, as well as the cracked capital, is said to have been 
occasioned by lightning long ago. 

“ I laid bare the east face of the foundation as the column 
slopes to the north, and found that the base was displaced 
three inches off the foundation-stone on the south side, and 
that there were two iron wedges driven under it, and that 
at some remote period stone-work of a massive character 
had been placed around to prevent further declension. I then 
cleared the mound away which abutted on the column, 
hoping to find some traces of foundations at least of the 
building to which the monolith might have formed an adjunct. 
This mound, from 12 to 16 feet in height, and extended some 
distance, and, as far as I could ascertain by cutting a trench 
and levelling, consists entirely of broken bricks and earth. 

“ I will now refer to the old Buddhist temple, which must 
formerly have stood on the high spur to the south-west. 
Owing to the presence of the Idgali, the number of tombs, 
and my limited time, I made no excavations on this 
spot; but I was easily enabled to trace the various parts 
of the temple scattered over the place and performing 
various functions. [Firstly, there were the pillars of the 
shrine, with their carved suns, and grotesque faces with 
foliage flowing from their mouths and eyes, and the con- 
stantly recurring flat vase, all used by the Muhammadans 
in their mosque. Then there were the plainer columns 
of the cloister, square below, and octagonal above. These 
latter I found rounded off and set up as Muhammadan 
liead-stones to graves, the light being burnt on the top of 
them ! Until I discovered two of these in situ, or at the 
graves, the Musalmans assured me they were Hindu conver- 
sions of the Buddhist pillars into emblems employed in the 
worship of Mahadeo. Secondly, there were the stone beams 
used also in the mosque, both as beams, and as uprights at 
the wells and in houses. And, lastly, there were the roofing 
stones used as pavement and for putting over graves. 

“ In compliance with the extract of General Cunningham’s 
report, several cross cuttings were made : The one through 

the surrounding mounds to see what kind of wall had been 
erected, if any, — the result of this has been before alluded 
to ; Another cutting was made through an isolated mound of 



some 9 feet in height, the result of which merely proved it to 
have an ancient dust heap ; A third, through a very high and 
likely mound resulted in nothing but earth and broken bricks ; 
Another has since been made, hut the results were the same 
as in the other cases. The reason for this is very plain : 
Each of these mounds represents an ancient edifice not, 
perhaps, of the time of the Buddhists (for the bricks do not 
hear that character), hut the constant excavation of found- 
ations for the past 200 years for the purpose of building has 
produced the results above alluded to. Each party has taken 
the bricks he needed and filled in again the rubbish. 

“ Just below the Idgah and exterior to the work is an old 
Muhammadan bridge across the Gangi Nadi, which might 
be repaired with advantage. This has been entirely con- 
structed with the cut-stones taken from the Buddhist struc- 
ture above. The date of its erection may have been from 
200 to 250 years, since or subsequent to the erection of that 
of Jonpur, which it resembles in many points. The carved 
work is built inwards. 

“ There are around Bhitari, at some little distance, say 
a quarter or half a mile, a number of detached mounds evi- 
dently of Buddhist origin, and apparently of artificial con- 
struction. These might repay excavation . 

“ In conclusion, I would beg to suggest with all deference, 
and without access to books, my knowledge must be limited 
that Bhitari was of old a strongly fortified earthen camp, in 
which there was at least one large Buddhist temple and 
several edifices in connection with the same; but nothing 
short of a lengthened residence on the spot, together with 
careful exploration, can ever accurately determine the nature 
of the latter. It is difficult to account for the base of the 
monolith being so far below the present level of the soil with 
which it does not appear to me ever to have been even.” 


Banaras is celebrated amongst the Buddhists as the 
scene where their great teacher first expounded his doctrine, 
or, as they metaphorically express it, where he first began to 
“ turn the wheel of the law.” This is one of the four great 
events in the life of Buddha, and accordingly it forms one 
of the most common subjects of Buddhist sculpture. In the 



great Buddliist establishment near Banaras, which is des- 
cribed by II wen Thsang the principal statue enshrined in a 
temple 200 feet in height, was a copper figure of Buddha 
represented in the act of “ turning the wheel of the law.” 
I found numerous statues of Buddha in the same attitude 
during my explorations about Sarnatli in 1835-36, and Major 
Kittoe discovered several more in 1851-52. I found also 
many others figures, but those of Buddha, the £C Teacher,” 
were the most numerous. The inscribed pedestal found by 
Bewail Jagat Singh in 1794, also belonged to a statue of 
Buddha, the Teacher. Similarly at Buddha-Gaya, where Sakya 
Sinha sat for six years meditating under the Bodhi Tree, the 
favourite statue is that of Buddha the Ascetic. 

The city of Banaras is situated on the left bank of the 
Ganges, between the Barna Nadi on the north-east, and the 
Asi Ndla on the south-west. The Barna , or Varand, is a 
considerable rivulet, which rises to the north of Allahabad, 
and has a course of about 100 miles. The Asi is a mere 
brook of no length, and, owing to its insignificant size, it does 
not appear in any of our most detailed maps. It is not 
entered in the Indian Atlas Sheet No. 88, which is on the 
scale of four miles to the inch, nor even in the larger litho- 
graphed map of the District of Banaras on the double scale 
of two miles to the inch. This omission has led the learned 
French Academician M. Vivien de Saint Martin to doubt the 
existence of the Asi as a tributary of the Ganges, and he 
conjectures that it may be only a branch of the Barna, and 
that the joint stream called the Varanasi may have commu- 
nicated its name to the city. The Asi Nala, however, will 
be found, as I have described it, in James Prinsep’s map of 
of the city of Banaras, published by Hullmandel, as well as 
in the small map which I have prepared to illustrate this 
account.* The position of the Asi is also accurately des- 
cribed by H. H. Wilson in his Sanskrit Dictionary, under the 
word Varanasi. I may add that the road from the city to 
Namnagar crosses the Asi only a short distance from its con- 
fluence with the river. The points of junction of both 
streams with the Ganges are considered particularly holy, 

* See Plate XXXT. — The Asi is mentioned by Abul Fazl in his Ain Akbari, II., 
p. 28; and by Bishop Heber, I„ 397, and moro particularly in p, 399, where he speaks of 
“ the small river.” 


PUtr XXX/. 

Stncfhpur ° 

KJvocjwi o 

<' u t~s> np ucr a 2 

Dhomelr ^ 

Gary \ 

'c 7 iaj.j.kcvulz 4 £ 1 j 

f 15 empvur y 


showing the position 


[urciOfa m 

Chou ho (short 
Lr'on (Bri/loe 

C ajitonxneiit 

A. Cunningham del. 

lath Suv; Sea^ Office Calcutta. June 187 



Clia uka rifii 4 Jh V 

of the Rums a.t 





aud accordingly temples have been erected both at Barna 
Sang am below the city, and at Asi Sangam above the city. 
From the joint names of these two streams, which bound the 
city to the north and south, the Brahmans derive Varanasi 
or Varanasi, which is said to be the Sanskrit form of the 
name of Banaras. But the more usual derivation amongst 
the common people is from Baja Bandr, who is said to have 
re-built the city about 800 years ago. 

The Buddhist remains of Banaras are situated nearly 
due north, and about 3^ miles distant from the outskirts of 
the city, at a place popularly known by the name of Sarnath. 
This name, which is usually applied to the great Buddhist 
tower, or stupa, belongs properly to a small Brahmanical 
temple on the western bank of the lake, while the great 
tower itself is called Dhamek. An annual fair is held close 
to the temple of Sarnath, and there is an indigo factory 
only 200 yards to the north of it. The name of Sarnath was, 
accordingly, well known both to the Natives and to the Eng- 
lish, and when the neighbouring ruins first attracted atten- 
tion, they were always referred to by that name. The ear- 
liest mention of them is by Jonathan Duncan in 1794, in his 
account of the discovery of two Urns by Babu Jagat Singh 
tc in the vicinity of a temple called Sarnath.”* It is possible 
that Duncan here refers to the Brahmanical “ temple but 
in the subsequent notices by Wilford and James Prinsep, both 
of whom had resided for many years at Banaras, the name of 
Sarnath is always applied to the great tower. The same 
name is given to the tower in an engraving which was pub- 
lished iri 1834 in Captain Elliot’s Views in India. 

Sarnath means supply the “ best Lord,” which title is 
here applied to the god Mahadeva, whose symbol, the ling am , 
is enshrined in the small temple on the bank of the lake. 
I believe, however, that the name is only an abbreviation of 
Sdranggandtha, or the “ Lord of Deer,” which would also be 
an appropriate epithet for Mahadeva, who is frequently re- 
presented as holding a deer in his left hand. As the lake in 
front of the temple is still occasionally called “ Sdrang Tdl ,” 
my conjecture that the true name was Sarangga Nath seems 
a very probably one ; but I would refer the epithet to Buddha 
himself, who in a former existence was fabled to have roamed 

# Asiatic Researches, V., p. 131. 



the woods in this very spot as the king of a herd of deer. 
Bat this spot was specially esteemed by the Buddhists on ac- 
count of a curious story which is given at some length hy 
Hwen Thsang, and which, as illustrative of the Buddhist 
tenderness for life, I will now relate.* — “ The Baja of 
Banaras, who was fond of sport, had slaughtered so many deer 
that the king of the deer remonstrated with him, and offered 
to furnish him with one deer daily throughout the year, if he 
would give up slaughtering them for sport. The Baja con- 
sented. After some time, when it came to the turn of a hind, 
big with young, to be presented to the Baja, she objected 
that, although it might be her turn to die, yet the turn of her 
little one could not yet have arrived. The king of the deer 
(that is, Buddha) was struck with compassion, and offered him- 
self to the Baja in place of the hind.” On hearing the story 
the Baja exclaimed — “ I am but a deer in the form of a man, 
but you are a man in the form of a deer.” He at once gave 
up his claim to the daily gift, and made over the park for 
the perpetual use of the deer, on which account it was called 
the e Deer Park’ ( Mrigadava). It is curious to learn that 
a ramna , or antelope preserve still exists in the neighbour- 
hood of Sdrnath. 

The principal remains at Sarnath are the following : 

1st. — The great stone tower call Dharnek ; 2nd, the re- 
mains of a large brick tower opened by Jagat Sing ; 3 rd, the 
traces of buildings excavated by myself in 1835-36 ; 4 th, the 
remains of buildings excavated by Major Kittoe in 1851-52 ; 
and 5 th, a high mound of solid brick-work crowned with an 
octagonal brick tower, called Chaukandi, and situated at 
rather less than half a mile from the great tower of Dharnek. 
With the simple exception of Chaukandi, the whole of these 
remains are situated on an extensive mound of brick and 
stone ruins about half a mile long, and nearly a quarter 
of a mile broad. On the north and east there are three large 
sheets of water which communicate with one another. To 
the east lies tlie Narokar or Sdrang Tdl, which is 3,000 feet 
long and 1,000 feet broad. On the north-east this communi- 
cates with the Chandokar or Chandra Tdl, which is of about 
the same size, but of less regular shape. On the north lies 

# Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., p. 361. 



the Natja Tal, or “ New Tank,” which is upwards of half 
a mile in length, hut little more than 300 feet in width.* 

At the north-eastern end of the mass of ruin is situated 
the village of Barahi , which, as I infer from the spelling, 
must have been named after Vajra Vardhi, a goddess of the 
later Buddhists. To the west, beyond the bend of the Naya 
Tal, lies Guronpur, or the “ Village of Teachers,” ivhicli in 
its day was probably inhabited by Buddhist Gurus. The 
Mrigadava, or “ Deer Park,” is represented by a fine wood, 
which still covers an area of about half a mile, and extends 
from the great tower of Dhamek on the north to the 
Cliaukandi mound on the south. To the south-west of the 
great tower the Jains have erected a modern temple of 
jPdrswandth. The temple is white-washed and surrounded 
by a wall enclosing an area 167 feet square. Since I first 
surveyed these ruins in 1835, a second or outer enclosure has 
been added on the east side, the walls of which run right up 
to the great tower and cause much inconvenience to visitors, 
by obstructing their free passage round the building. 

The most remarkable of the Sarnath Monuments is the 
great tower called Dliamek. Mr. Pergussonf has stated 
that “ this building was opened by Major Cunningham, 
under Mr. Brinseps auspices ;” but this statement is incor- 
rect, as the operations were begun by myself before any 
communication was made to James Prinsep, and were after- 
wards continued entirely under my own guidance. The cost 
of opening the tower was shared between James Prinsep, 
Captain 1 Thoresby, Major Grant, and myself, but the work 
had been commenced “ under my own auspices,” and was not 
suggested to me by James Prinsep. The excavation was 
begun in December 1834, and closed in January 1836, at a 
cost of Rupees 517-3-10. But, before detailing these opera- 
tions, I will describe the tower itself. 

The Buddhist stupa called Dliamek is a solid round tow- 
er, 93 feet in diameter at base and 110 feet in height above 
the surrounding mins, but 128 feet above the general level 
of the country. The foundation or basement, which is made 
of very large bricks, has a depth of 28 feet below the level of 
the ruins, but is sunk only 10 feet below the surface of the 

* See Plate XXXI. 

t Handbook of Architecture, I., p. 15. 



country. The lower part of the tower, to a height of 43 feet, 
is built entirely of stone from one of the Chunar quarries, 
and with the exception of the upper five courses, the whole 
of this part of the building is a solid mass of stone, and each 
stone, even in the very heart of the mass, is seemed to its 
neighbours by iron cramps. The upper part of the tower is 
built entirely of large bricks, but as the outer facing has long 
ago disappeared, there is nothing now left to show whether 
it was formerly cased with stone, or only plastered over, and 
coloured to imitate the stone-work of the lower portion. I 
infer, however, that it was plastered, because the existing 
stone-work terminates with the same course all round the 
building, a length of 292 feet. Had the upper part been 
cased with stone, it is scarcely possible that the whole 
should have disappeared so completely that not even a single 
block out of so many thousands should now remain in its 
original position. In one part I observed some projecting 
bricks which appeared very like the remains of a moulding at 
the base of the dome. On the top I found a small brick cap, 
8 feet in diameter and only 4 feet high. Erom its size I infer 
that this was the ruin of the base of a small pinnacle, about 
10 feet square, which most probably once supported a stone 
umbrella. I infer this because the figures of Buddha the 
Teacher arc usually represented as seated under an umbrella. 

The lower part of the monument has eight projecting 
faces, each 21 feet 6 inches in width, with intervals of 15 feet 
between them. In each of the faces, at a height of 24 feet 
above the ground, there is a semi-circular headed niche, 5^ 
feet in width, and the same in height. In each of the niches 
there is a pedestal, 1 foot in height, and slightly hollowed on 
the top to receive the base of a statue ; but the statues them- 
selves have long ago disappeared, and I did not find even the 
fragment of one in my excavation at the base of the monu- 
ment. There can be little doubt, however, that all the eight 
statues represented Buddha the Teacher, in the usual form, 
with his hands raised before his breast, and the thumb and 
fore-finger of the right hand placed on the little finger of the 
left hand for the purpose of enforcing his argument. Judg- 
ing by the dimensions of the niches, the statues must have 
been of life-size.* 

* I would suggest that one of the many sitting statues of Buddha the Teacher, which 
have since been discovered, and are now deposited at the Banaras College, should be 
placed in one of these niches. 

BAN Alt AS, S Alt NATH. 


Prom the level of the base of the niches the eight pro- 
jecting faces lessen in width to five feet at the top ; but the 
diminution is not uniform, as it begins gradually at first, and 
increases as it approaches the top. The outline of the slope 
may have been possibly intended for a curve, but it looks 
much more like three sides of a large polygon. Around the 
niches seven of the faces are more or less richly decorated 
with a profusion of flowing foliage. The carving on some of 
the faces has been completed, but on others it is little more 
than half finished, while the south face is altogether plain. 
On the unfinished faces portions of the unexecuted ornamen- 
tation may be seen traced in outline by the chisel, which 
proves that in ancient times the Hindus followed the same 
practice as at present, of adding the carving after the wall 
was built. 

On the western face the same ornamentation of flowing 
foliage is continued below the niche, and in the midst of it 
there is a small plain tablet, which can only have been in- 
tended for a very short inscription, such, perhaps, as the name 
of the building. A triple band of ornament, nearly 9 feet in 
depth below the niches, encircles all the rest of the building, 
both faces and recesses. The middle band, which is the 
broadest, is formed entirely of various geometrical figures, the 
main lines being deeply cut, and the intervening spaces being 
filled with various ornaments. On some of the faces where 
the spaces between the deeply cut lines of the ruling figures 
are left plain, I infer that the work is unfinished. The 
upper band of ornamentation, which is the narrowest, is 
generally a scroll of the lotus plant with leaves and buds 
only, while the lower band, which is also a lotus scroll, con- 
tains the full blown flowers as well as the buds. The lotus 
flower is represented full to the front on all the sides except 
the south south-west, where it is shown in a side view with 
the ChaJcwa or Brahmani Goose seated upon it. This, indeed, 
is the only side on which any animal representations are 
given, which is the more remarkable, as it is one of the re- 
cesses and not one of the projecting faces. In the middle 
of the ornament there is a human figure seated on a lotus 
flower and holding two branches of the lotus in his hands. 
On each side of him there are three lotus flowers, of which 
the four nearer ones support pairs of Brahmani Geese, while 
the two farther ones carry only single birds. Over the nearest 



pair of geese, on tlie right hand of the figure, there is a 
frog. The attitudes of the birds are all good, and even that 
of the human figure is easy, although formal. The lotus 
scroll with its flowing lines of graceful stalk, mingled with 
tender buds and full blown flowers, and delicate leaves, is 
very rich and very beautiful. Below the ornamental borders 
there are three plain projecting bands. 

I employed two expert masons for twelve months in 
making full-size drawings of the whole of these hands of 
ornament. Two plates of the east south-east and south 
south-west sides were afterwards engraved in Calcutta under 
my own guidance, for publication by James Prinsep in the 
Asiatic Researches ; hut his lamented illness put a sudden 
stop to the work, as his successor, Mr. Cumin, would not 
allow the mint engraver to continue it. 

Near the top of the north-west face there are four pro- 
jecting stones placed like steps, that is, they are not imme- 
diately over each other, and above them there is a fifth stone 
which is pierced with a round hole for the reception of a 
post, or more probably of a flag-staff. The lowest of these 
stones can only be reached by a ladder, hut ladders must 
have been always available, if, as I suppose, it was customary 
on stated occasions to fix flags and steamers on various parts 
of the building, in the same manner as is now done in the 
Buddhist countries of Burmah and Ladak. 

With the single exception of the Taj Mahal at Agra, 
there is, perhaps, no Indian building that has been so often 
described as the great Buddhist tower near Sarnath. But 
strange to say, its dimensions have always been very much 
under-stated, although the circumference might have been 
very closely ascertained with the greatest ease in a few 
minutes, by measuring, either with a walking stick or with 
the fore-arm, the breadth of one projecting face and of one 
recess, which together form one-eighth of the whole. H. H. 
Wilson, quoting Wilford, states that “ Sarnath is about 50 
feet high, and may be as many paces in circumference.” 
Miss Emma Roberts states that it is “ about 150 feet in 
circumference,” and “ above 100 feet in height.” Mr. Eer- 
gusson calls it between 50 and GO feet in diameter, and 
110 feet in height. This last statement of the height is 
correct, having been taken from a note of mine, which was 



published by Mr. Thomas in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s 
Journal. This height was carefully measured by myself with 
an iron chain in January 1835, by means of the scaffolding 
which I had put up for the purpose of opening the tower. 
By a previous measurement with a theodolite I had found 
the height to be 109 feet 10 inches. The breadth of one 
projecting face and of one recess is 36 feet 6 inches, which 
multiplied by 8 gives 292 feet as the circumference, and a 
trifle less than 93 feet as the diameter, or nearly double the 
thickness stated by any one of the authorities just quoted. 

On the 18th January 1835 my scaffolding was complet- 
ed, and I stood on the top of the great tower. On cutting 
the long grass I found two iron spikes, each 8 inches long, 
and shaped like the head of a lance. ^On the following day 
I removed the ruined brick pinnacle and began sinking a 
shaft or well, about 5 feet in diameter. At 3 feet from the 
top I found a rough stone, 24 inches x 15 inches x 7 inches, 
and on the 25th January, at a depth of 10^ feet, I found an 
inscribed slab 28f inches long, 13 inches broad, and 4<f inches 
thick, which is now in the Museum of the Bengal Asiatic 
Society. The inscription consists of the usual Buddhist 
formula or profession of faith beginning with the words “ Ye 
Dharmma hetii prabhavd, 8fC.” of which translations have 
been given by Mill, Hodgson, Wilson, and Burnouf. The 
following is Hodgson’s translation, which has received the 
approval of Burnouf : “ Of all things proceeding from 

cause, their causes hath the Tathagata (Buddha) ex- 
plained. The Great Sramana (Buddha) hath likewise ex- 
plained the causes of the cessation of existence.” The letters 
of this inscription, which are all beautifully cut, appear to me 
to be of somewhat earlier date than the Tibetan alphabet, 
which is known to have been obtained from India in the 
middle of the 7tli century. I would, therefore, assign the 
inscription, and -consequently the completion of the monu- 
ment, to the 6th century.* 

On the 22nd January I began to excavate a horizontal 
gallery on the level of the top of the stone- work, and on the 
] 4th of February, at a distance of 44 feet, the gallery joined 
the shaft, which had been sunk from above. As I now found 
that the upper course of stone was only a facing, I sank the 

* See Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1835, p. 133, for different translations, and Plate 
IX. for a copy of tlie inscription. The original stone is now in the Museum of the Asiatic 
Society in Calcutta. 



gallery itself down to the level of the stone-work, and con- 
tinued it right through to the opposite site. I thus dis- 
covered that the mass of the inner stone-work was only 33 
feet in height, while the outer stone- work was 43 feet. In the 
middle, however, there was a pillar of stone-work, rising 6 
feet higher than the inner mass. This was, perhaps, used as a 
point from which to describe the circle with accuracy. Small 
galleries were also made to reach the tops of the east and 
west faces, but nothing was discovered by these works. 

The labor of sinking the shaft through the solid stone- 
work was very great, as the stones which were large (from 
2 to 3 feet in length, 18 inches broad, and 12 inches thick) 
were all secured to each other by iron cramps. Each stone 
had usually eight cramps, four above, and as many below, all 
of which had to be cut out before it could be moved. I 
therefore sent to Chunar for regular quarrymen to quarry 
out the stones, and the work occupied them for several 
months. At length, at a depth of 110 feet from the top of 
the monument, the stone gave place to brick-work, made of 
very large bricks. Through this the shaft was continued for 
a further depth of 28 feet, when I reached the plain soil 
beneath the foundation. Lastly, a gallery was run right 
through the brick- work of the foundation, immediately below 
the stone- work, but without yielding any result. 

Thus ended my opening of the great tower after 14 
months’ labour, and at a cost of more than Bs. 500. When 
I began the work I was not aware that many of the most 
hallowed of the Buddhist Monuments were only memorial 
stupas, raised over spots rendered famous by various acts of 
Buddha, such as we know from Hwen Thsang’s account was 
the great tower near Banaras, which was erected by Asoka 
near the spot where Buddha had began to “ turn the wheel 
of the law,” that is, to preach his new doctrine. The “ tower 
of the Deer Park near Banaras” is likewise enumerated by 
another Chinese author as one of the “ eight divine towers” 
erected on sites where Buddha had accomplished “many 
important acts of his terrestrial career,” the particular act 
which he had accomplished at Banaras being his preaching. 
This tower was seen by Ea- Ilian in the beginning of the 5th 
century, who notices that Buddha, when he began to “ turn 
the wheel of the law,” sat down looking towards the west. 
Now, on the western face of the great tower there is a small 



plain tablet, -which, as I have said before, could only have 
been intended for some very short inscription, such as the 
name either of the tower itself, or of the event which it was 
intended to commemorate. But, whatever it may have been 
intended for, its position was no doubt significant, and, as at 
Buddha Gaya, where Sakya had been seated facing the cast, 
his statue was placed in the same position, so at Banaras, 
where, when he began to preach he had been seated facing 
the west, his statue must have been placed in the same 
direction. I conclude that the western face of the monument 
erected to commemorate that event would have been the 
principal side, and that any inscription would certainly have 
been placed on that side. 

It now only remains to notice the name by which this 
great tower is known amongst the people of the neighbour- 
ing villages. This name is Dliamek, of which no one knows 
the meaning. It is evidently some compound of Dliarmma, 
and, bearing in mind that on this spot Buddha first began to 
“ turn the wheel of the law,” I would suggest that Dliamek 
is only an abbreviation of the Sanskrit D liar mm op a clcs a k a 
or “ Preacher of Dliarmma ,” which is, indeed, the common 
term now in use to designate any religious teacher. The 
term is also used in the simpler form of Dliarmma desaka , 
which, in familiar conversation, would naturally be shortened 
to Dhamadek and Dliamek. The special fitness of this name 
for the great tower in the Beer Park at Banaras is so obvious 
and striking, that I think it needless to offer any further 
remarks on the subject. 

At a distance of 520 feet to the westward of Dliamek, 
there is a large circular hole, upwards of 50 feet in diameter, 
surrounded by a very thick brick wall. This is the ruin of 
the large brick stupa which was excavated by Babu Jagat 
Singh, the Dewan of Baja Chait Singh, of Banaras, for the 
purpose of obtaining bricks for the erection of Jagatganj. 
In January 1794 his workmen found, at a depth of 27 feet, 
two vessels of stone and marble, one inside the other. The 
inner vessel, according to Jonathan Duncan’s account,* con- 
tained a few human bones, some decayed pearls, gold leaves, 
and other jewels of no value. In the “ same place” under- 
ground, and on the “ same occasion,” with the discovery of 
the urns, there was found a statue of Buddha, bearing an 

* Asiatic Researches, V., p. 131. 




inscription dated in Samvat 1083, or A. D. 1026. An imper- 
fect translation of this inscription was given by Wilford, 
accompanied by some remarks, in which he applies the state- 
ments of the record to the great tower of Dhamek, instead 
of to the building in which it was actually discovered.* 

At my suggestion Major Kittoe made a search for this 
statue amongst the plundered stones of Jagatganj, where it 
was found broken and mutilated. The inscription, however, 
was still legible, and the remains of the figure are sufficient 
to show that the statue was a representation of Buddha the 
Preacher, and not of Buddha the Ascetic. Major Kittoe sent 
me a transcript of the inscription in modern Nagari, which I 
strongly suspect to have been Brakmanized by his Banaras 
Pandits. In its modern Nagari form, as translated for me, it 
records that “ Main Pdla, Baja of Gauda , having worship- 
ped the lotus-like foot of Sri Dlidmardsi (“ heap of light” 
? Buddha) grown in the lake of Varanasi, and having for its 
moss the hair of prosperous kings, caused to be erected in 
Kasi hundreds of Isdna and Chitraghanta. Sri Sthira Pala 
and his younger brother, Sri Vasanta Pala, having restored 
religion, raised this tower with an inner chamber and eight 
large niches. t” Wilford read Bliupdla instead of Isana, but 
I am unable to offer any conjecture as to the true reading, as 
I know not where the original is hoav deposited. Major Kit- 
toe’s facsimile of the inscription is, perhaps, amongst those 
deposited by him in the Asiatic Society’s Museum. 

My reasons for fixing on the large round hole, 520 feet 
to the west of the great tower, as the site of the stupa exca- 
vated by Jagat Singh, are the following : In 1835, when 

I was engaged in opening the great tower itself, I made re- 
peated enquiries regarding the scenes of Jagat Singh’s disco- 
covery. Every one had heard of the finding of a stone box 
which contained bones, and jewels, and gold, but every one 
professed ignorance of the locality. At length, an old man 
named SangJcar, an inhabitant of the neighbouring village 
of Singhpur, came forward and informed me that, when he 

* Asiatic Researches, IX., 204. 

t Isdna means “ light, splendour,” and was probably the technical name of a “ lamp- 
pillar” for illumination. Chitraghanta means a variegated or “ ornamented bell.” I would, 
therefore, translate the two words as “lamp-pillars and ornamental bells.” Gatida is the 
name of the country to the north of the Uhaghra River. Gauda was also the name of the 
old capital of Bengal. 



was a boy, be bad been employed in tlie excavations made by 
Jagat Singli, and that he knew all about the discovery of the 
jewels, &c. According to his account the discovery consisted 
of two boxes, the outer one being a large round box of 
common stone, and the inner one a cylindrical box of green 
marble about 15 inches in height and 5 or 6 inches in diame- 
ter. The contents of the inner box were 40 to 46 pearls, 14 
rubies, 8 silver and 9 gold earrings (learn phul), and three 
pieces of human arm bone. The marble box was taken to 
the Bara Sahib (Jonathun Duncan), but the stone box was 
left undisturbed in its original position. As the last state- 
ment evidently afforded a ready means of testing the man’s 
veracity, I enquired if he could point out the spot where the 
box was left. To this question he replied without any hesi- 
tation in the affirmative, and I at once engaged him to dig 
up the box. We proceeded together to the site of the pre- 
sent circular hole, which was then a low uneven mound in 
the centre of a hollow, and, after marking out a small space 
about 4 feet in diameter, he began to work. Before sunset 
he had reached the stone box at a depth of 12 feet, and at 
less than 2 feet from the middle of the well which he had 
sunk. The box was a large circular block of common Chunar 
sand-stone, pierced with a rough cylindrical chamber in the 
centre, and covered with a flat slab as a lid. I presented this 
box, along with about 60 statues, to the Bengal Asiatic So- 
ciety, and it is now in their Museum, where I lately recog- 
nized it. In their catalogue, however, it is described as 
“942B, a Sarcophagus found in the tope of Ilanikyala (!); 
Donor, Lieutenant A. Cunningham.” 

The discovery of the stone box was the most complete 
and convincing proof that I could wish for of the man’s vera- 
city, and I at once felt satisfied that the relics and the inscrib- 
ed figure of Buddha found by Jagat Singh’s workmen had 
been discovered on this spot, and consequently that they 
could not possibly have any connexion with the great tower 
of Dliamek. My next object was to ascertain the nature of 
the building in which the box was deposited. As I had found 
the box standing on solid brick-work, I began to clear away 
the rubbish, expecting to find a square chamber similar to 
those which had been discoverd in the topes of Afghanistan. 
My excavations, however, very soon showed that, if any 
chamber had once existed, it must have been demolished by 



Jagat Singh’s workmen. Sangkar then described that the box 
was found in a small square hole or chamber only just large 
enough to hold it. I cleared out the whole of the rubbish 
until I reached the thick circular wall which still exists. I 
then found that the relic box had been deposited inside a 
solid brick hemispherical stupa, 49 feet in diameter at the 
level of the deposit, and that this had been covered by a 
casing wall of brick, 16tj> feet in thickness ; the total diameter 
at this level was, therefore, 82 feet. The solid brick -work of 
the interior had only been partially excavated by Jagat Singh’s 
workmen, nearly one-half of the mass, to a height of 6 feet 
above the stone box, being then untouched. I made some 
excavations round the outer wall to ascertain its thickness, 
but I left the brick-work undisturbed. 

About IS years afterwards, the excavation of this stupa 
was continued by Major Kittoe and Mr. Thomas until the 
whole of the inner mass had been removed, and the foundation 
of the outer casing exposed. The inner diameter is given by 
Mr. Thomas as 49 feet 6 inches, the slight excess over my 
measurement being due to the thickness of a base moulding 
of the original stupa. I have again carefully examined the 
remains of this monument, and I am quite satisfied that in 
its original state it was an ancient hemispherical stupa, 49 feet 
in diameter at base, and about 35 or 40 feet in height, includ- 
ing the usual pinnacle. Afterwards, when, as I suppose, the 
upper portion had become ruinous, it was repaired by the 
addition of a casing wall 16^ feet in thickness. The diame- 
ter of the renewed edifice thus became 82 feet, while the 
height, inclusive of a pinnacle, could not have been less than 
50 feet. 

On a review of all the facts connected with this ruin, I 
incline to the opinion that the inner hemisphere was an 
ancient relic stupa, and that this having become ruinous, it 
was repaired, and an outer casing added by the brothers 
Sthira JPdla and Yasanta Ycila in A. D. 1026. In the Ma- 
lt dwanno we find the record of similar additions having been 
made to some of the stupas in Ceylon, and I know from per- 
sonal inspection that many of the great Dhagopas of Barrnah 
have been increased in size by subsequent additions. 

Due south from the great tower of Dliamek, and at a 
distance of 2,500 feet, there is a lofty ruined mound of solid 


P /ait XXX//. 





^Jtujai £ ingh/S 


of iTieRixitu 







zz~ -. — zz r.c 



±dlc av ataona 

^ y 


1851 -52 

A . r unrung-harn. del 

Litho. at the Survr. Genl’s. Office. Cal. October 1871- 



brickwork, surmounted by an octagonal building. "When I 
first lived at Banaras, this mound was always known by the 
name of Chaukandi, of which no one knew the meaning. But 
during my late visit I found that the old name was nearly 
forgotten, having been superseded by Luri-ka-kodan or 
“ Luri’s leap.” Luri was an Ahir, who jumped from the top 
of the octagonal building some years ago, and was killed. 
The mound itself is 74 feet in height to the floor of the octa- 
gonal building which rises 23 feet 8 inches higher, making a 
total height of 97 feet and 8 inches. An inscription over one 
of the door-ways of the building records that it was built in 
the reign of Humdyun , as a memorial of the emperor’s 
ascent of the mound. 

In 1835 I opened this mound by sinking a well from the 
floor of the building right down to the plain earth beneath 
the foundation. I also drove a horizontal gallery to meet the 
well about half way up the ascent. But as neither of these 
excavations resulted in any discovery, I then thought it pos- 
sible that my well might not have been sunk in the axis of 
the building. I therefore began to widen the well from the 
point of junction of the gallery until it was nearly 20 feet in 
diameter. This work was stopped at a depth of 27 feet by 
my departure from Banaras. I have again examined this ruin, 
and I am now quite satisfied that my first well was sunk in 
the very centre of the mound. The absence of any relic 
chamber shows that this was not a relic tower, a conclusion 
which is fully borne out by Ewen Thsang’s description of one 
of the most remarkable of the sacred edifices near the Beer 
Park at Banaras, which, I believe, may be identified with the 
Chaukandi mound. 

At 2 or 3 li (or rather less than half a mile) to the 
south-west of the Deer Park Monastery, Hwen Thsang places 
a stupa which was no less than 300 feet in height.* This 
lofty monument sparkled with the rarest and most precious 
materials. It was not ornamented with rows of niches, 
neither had it the usual bell-shaped cupola, but its summit 
was crowned with a sort of religious vase, turned upside down, 
on the top of which was an arrow. This is the whole of 
Hwen Thsang’s account of this remarkable building, which, 
although too meagre to gratify curiosity, is still sufficient for 

* Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., p. 363. 



the purpose of identification. In position it agrees almost 
exactly with that of the great brick mound of Chaukandi, 
which I have just described. The distance of this last from 
the ruined mound on which the village of Barahipur stands, 
and which I have already identified with the position of 
the Beer Park Monastery, is just half a mile, but the 
direction is south south-west instead of south-west. With 
regard to size, it is difficult to say what may have been 
the height of the Chaukandi edifice. My excavations have 
proved that the centre of the present mound is all solid 
brick- work; but the subsequent explorations of Major 
Kittoe have brought to light three immense straight walls 
about mid-way up the eastern side, and two more on the 
western side, which have all the appearance of gigantic but- 
tresses. Now, as these walls could not possibly have been 
required for the stability of the great solid mass below, it seems 
not unreasonable to conclude that they must in some way 
have been connected with the support of the upper portion of 
the building, which no longer exists. Hwen Thsang’s account 
is somewhat vague, but I believe his intention was to describe 
a dome or cupola narrowed at the base, like the neck of a 
religious vase reversed. He distinctly states that it was not 
a bell-shaped cupola, that is, the dome did not spread outwards 
in the form familiar to us in the great Dhagopas of Rangoon 
and Pegu. An excellent illustration of the reversed vase 
form may be seen in a rock-cut temple at Ajanta, given by 

I will conclude this notice of the remains at Sarnath 
Banaras with a short account of the excavations which have 
been made at different times during the last seventy years in 
the vicinity of the great tower of Dhamek. 

The earliest excavations of which we possess any record 
were those made by Baba Jagat Singh in 1793-94, for the 
purpose of obtaining materials, both stones and bricks, for 
the erection of a market-place, in the city, which was named 
after himself, Jagatganj. I have already noticed his dis- 
covery, in January 1794, of the two stone boxes containing a 
few bones, with some decayed pearls and slips of gold. A 
brief account of this discovery was published by Jonathan 

* Hand-book of Architecture, I., p. 20. 



Duncan,'* and a more detailed notice by Wilford in a later 
volume of tlie same work. I can add little to their accounts, 
except that the original green stone vase, which Jonathan 
Duncan presented to the Asiatic Society in 1791, had dis- 
appeared before 1831, when I wrote to James Prinsep about 
it. I may mention also, on the authority of the work-people, 
that the dilapidated state of the lower part of the Dhamek 
Tower is due entirely to the meanness of Jagat Singh, who, 
to save a few rupees in the purchase of new stones, deliber- 
ately destroyed the beautiful facing of this ancient tower. As 
each stone was slowly detached from the monument by 
cutting out all the iron cramps by which it was seemed to 
its neighbours, the actual saving to the Baku could have been 
but little ; but the defacement to the tower was very great, and, 
as the stones were removed at once, the damage done to the 
tower is quite irreparable. 

Jagat Singh’s discovery would appear to have stimulated 
the curiosity of the British officers, for Miss Emma Ptoberts, 
writing: in 1834, relates that “ some 40 or 50 vears aero” 
(that is, about 1791) “ the ruins near Sarnatli attracted the 
attention of several scientific gentlemen, and they commenced 
an active research by digging in many places around. Their 
labours were rewarded by the discovery of several excava- 
tions filled with an immense number of flat tiles, having 
representations of Buddha modelled upon them in wax. It 
is said that there were actuallv cart loads of these images 
found in the excavations before mentioned. Many were 
deposited in the Museums and collections of private indivi- 
duals ; but whether they were ever made the subject of a 
descriptive account seems doubtful, there being at least no 
public document of the kind.”t I can add nothing to Miss 
Roberts’ account, as all my enquiries have failed to discover 
any of the wax seals of Buddha above mentioned. I may 
note, however, that in the temples of Ladak I have seen 
small chambers quite full of similar little figures of deceased 
Lamas. In Burmah also I have seen small figures of Buddha 
in bmnt clay accumulated in heaps equal to cart loads, both 
in the caves and in the temples. The figured seals discovered 
near Sarnath would appear to have been of a similar kind to 
those which I extracted from the ruined building close to 

# Asiatic Researches, V., p. 131. 

+ Views in India, &c., II., p. 8. 


archaeological report, 1861-62. 

Jarasandlia’s Tower at Giryek, and also to those which I have 
described as having been found in the ruins at Bakror, oppo- 
site to Buddha Gaya. 

The next excavations, as far as I am aware, were those 
undertaken by myself in 1835-36. These excavations, as 
well as the drawings of the elaborate ornament of the great 
tower, were made entirely at my own expense, the cost 
during 18 months having been Rs. 1,200. I made several 
desultory excavations wherever I saw traces of walls, but they 
all proved to belong to temporary habitations of a late 
period. At last, after a heavy fall of rain, I observed a piece 
of terraced floor which I ordered to he cleared for the pur- 
pose of pitching my tent upon it. After a few hours’ labour, 
however, the flooring terminated on what appeared to he the 
edge of a small tank, which was only 13 feet 9 inches 
square. Continuing the work, I found the bases of pillars 
in pairs surrounding the square. Amongst the rubbish 
inside the square, I found an elaborately sculptured bas- 
relief, in grey standstone, representing the Nirvana of 
Buddha. The stone had been broken into four pieces, of 
which one was missing, but the remaining three pieces are 
now in the Calcutta Museum. This sculpture, I consider, 
particularly interesting, as the subject is treated in a novel 
and striking manner. In the ordinary representations of 
the death-bed scene, the spectators are confined to a few 
attendants, who hold umbrellas over the body or reverentially 
touch the feet. But in the present sculpture, besides the 
usual attendants, there are the Navagraha or “Nine Planets” 
in one line, and in a lower line, the Ashta SaJcte or “ eight 
female energies,” a series of goddesses apparently belonging 
to one of the later forms of Buddhism. This sculpture is 
well worthy of being photographed. 

[Further excavation showed that the small pillared tank, 
or court-yard, was the centre of a large building, 68 feet 
square, of which the outer walls were feet thick. My ex- 
ploration was not completed to the eastward, as the walls of 
the building in that direction had been entirely removed by 
some previous excavation, with the exception of detached 
portions of the foundation, sufficient to show that it corre- 
sponded exactly with the western half of the building. The 
central square was apparently surrounded by an open veran- 
dah, which gave access to ranges of five small rooms or cells 


Plate XXXm 

mrfft£ec£! r '' 





l ^ 




Litho. at the Survr. Genl’s. Office, Cal. August 1371 



each of tlic four sides of the building. In all the cells I 
found pieces of charred wood, with nails still sticking in 
some of them, and in the middle cell on the western side I 
found a small store of unhusked rice only partially burnt. 
In a few places I found what appeared to be pieces of ter- 
raced roofing, and in one place a large heap of charcoal. On 
the south side the central room was lost by previous excava- 
tion, hut on the north side I found a room entirely open 
towards the verandah, as if it was a hall, or place of general 
meeting for the resident monks. Inside this room there was 
the base or pedestal of what I believe to have been a small 
votive stupa, the top of which probably reached to the roof 
and took the place of a pillar. A small drain led under- 
ground from the north-west corner of the central square to 
the outside of the building on the north, for the purpose, as 
I conclude, of carrying off the rain-water.* 

The building which I have just described would appear 
to have been a l/thara, of “ Chapel Monastery,” that is, a 
monastery with a chapel or temple forming an integral part 
of the building. Trom the thickness of the outer wall I 
infer that this edifice was not less than three or four stories 
in height, and that it may have accommodated about 50 
monks. The entrance was probably on the south side, and I 
think that there must have been a statue of Buddha in the 
northern verandah. The bas-relief which I found in the 
central square almost certainly formed one of the middle 
architraves of the court. 

Continuing my excavations in the high ground to the 
westward, I came upon the remains of a building of a totally 
different description. The walls of this edifice were 3 feet 
thick throughout, and I found the plaster still adhering to 
the inner walls of what I will call the verandahs, with 
borders of painted flowers, quite fresh and vivid. The mass 
of the building consisted of a square of 34 feet, with a small 
porch on each of the four side. The building was divided 
into three parts from west to east, and the central part was 
again sub-divided into three small rooms. I think it pro- 
bable that these three rooms were the shrines of the Buddhist 
Triad Dharmma , Buddha, and Sangha, and that the walls of 

* See Plate XXXIII. for the plans of these buildings. The position is marked by 
the letter P. in the sketch of the ruins in Plate XXXII. 




the two long rooms or verandahs to the north and south 
were covered with statues and bas-reliefs. The entrance 
verandah of one of the vihar caves at Kdnhari , in Salsette, 
is adorned in a similar manner ; and even in the present day 
the inner walls of the temples, both in Ladak and in Barmah, 
are covered with figures of Buddha. This also, as we know 
from II wen Thsang’s account, was the style of the walls of 
the great vihar in the Deer Park at this very place, and a 
similar style of ornamentation prevailed both at Buddha Gaya 
and at Nalanda. Outside the walls also I found a great 
number, about 50 or GO, of large deeply carved stones, which 
had once formed part of a magnificent frieze, with a bold 
projecting cornice. The face of the frieze was ornamented 
with small figures of Buddha seated at intervals in peculiar 
shaped niches, which I have traced from the rock hewn caves 
of Dhamnar, in Malwa, to the picturesque but fantastic 
Kyoungs of Burmali. A few of these stones may now be 
seen in the grounds of the Sanskrit College at Banaras. As 
I found no traces of burnt wood, I am inclined to believe 
that the roof of the building was pyramidal, and that the 
general appearance of the edifice must have been strikingly 
similar to that of the great temple of Brambanan, depicted 
in the 2nd Volume of IlafHes’ Java. 

Whilst engaged in excavating the walls of this temple, 
I was informed by Sangkar , Bajbhar of Singpur, the same 
man who had pointed out to me the position of the relic box 
in Jagat Singh’s stupa, that, whilst he was engaged in digging 
materials for Jagatganj, the workmen had come upon a very 
large number of statues, all collected together in a small 
building. The walls were pulled down and the bricks were 
carried away, but the statues were left untouched in their 
original position. I at once commenced an excavation on 
the spot pointed out by Sangkar, which was only a few feet 
to the north of the temple just described. At a depth of 2 
feet below the surface, I found about 60 statues and bas- 
reliefs in an upright position, all packed closely together 
within a small space of less than 10 feet square. The walls 
of the building in which they had been thus deposited had 
been removed as stated by Sangkar, but the remains of the 
foundation showed a small place of only 11 feet square out- 
side. I made a selection of the more perfect figures which, 
together with the bas-reliefs, I presented to the Asiatic 


Plate XXXIV. 

1. Inscribed Stone extracted from Great Stupa. 

^ & ') 

: T AT ^ ‘ 

auft TQVisy^xih \ yzjnn_:\\< 

<k< — -A. 

2. Letters Aom Masons marks on Stones of Great Stupa. 5 arn§*b 

-f - -H - CO- ■ rv\ U ■ . Y fi In 

■ { E ■ ■ ■ • b • • q I rj 2 • ft -I' "h 5 

3. On Pedestal of Standing Figure 

Xcxi o£<* ■fi'Ztti f***a?“J*« 

* TJT 

4. Base of Eas- Relief. 

A» 3 T )^Aijf £- 3 ^T 

sn -*r ^ *2 r ^?%’ 

f Back of Seated Figure of Buddha. 

m ewtfl 3 H >r *n<i 51 ^ v 
aoijl* $1-3*1 mm a ^Jisn^fasrs 

€. Clay Seal from Sarnath. 

7- Squatted Figure of Buddha. 

A. Cuanicgh&m del. 

Fhj^)zincogir.pKed at the Surveys General's Office Calcutta 



Society. A sketch of the principal bas-relief, which represents 
the four great events in the career of Sakya Muni, has been 
published hv M. Eoucaux.* A second bas-relief represents 
the same four scenes, hut on a smaller scale. A third bas-relief, 
which gives only three scenes, omitting the Nirvana, has a 
short inscription below in two lines, which records the sculpture 
to have been the gift of Hari Gupta. The characters of this 
inscription, which are of the later Gupta type, shows that 
this piece of sculpture is certainly as old as the 3rd or 4th 
century. A fourth bas-relief gives five scenes, the addi- 
tional scene being the conception of Maya Devi on the ap- 
pearance of the Cliliaclanta Elephant. Some of the seated 
figures were in excellent preservation, and more particularly 
one of Buddha the Teacher, which was in perfect condition, 
and coloured of a warm red hue. The remaining statues, 
upwards of 40 in number, together with most of the other 
carved stones which I had collected, and which I left Ivina: 
on the ground, were afterwards carted away by the late Mr. 
Davidson and thrown into the Barna Biver under the bridge 
to check the cutting away of the bed between the arches. 

As the room in which I found all these sculptures was 
only a small detached building, and as it was quite close to 
the large temple which I have just described, I conclude that 
the whole of the sculptures must have belonged to the 
temple, and that they were secreted in the place -where I 
discovered them, during a time of persecution, when the 
monks were obliged to abandon their monasteries and take 
refuge in Nepal. This conclusion is partly borne out by the 
fact that I found no statues within the walls of the temple 

To the north of the temple, at a distance of 26 feet, my 
excavations uncovered a large single block of stone, 6 feet 
in length, by 3 feet in height, and the same in thickness. 
The stone had been carefully squared, and was hollowed out 
underneath, forming a small chamber, 4 feet in length, by 
2 feet in breadth, and the same in height. f This large stone 
has also disappeared, which is the more to he regretted, as 
I think it highly probable that it was the celebrated stone, 

Translation of the Tibetan History of Buddha, Plate I. 
t See sketch of the ruins in Plate XXXII., letter Q. This stone has nov.' disappeared. 



described by Hwen Tlisang, on which Buddha had spread 
out his kashdya to dry after washing it in the neighbouring 
tank. Certain marks on the stone appeared to the Bud- 
dhists to represent the thread lines of the web of Buddha’s 
cloth “ as distinctly as if they had been chiselled.” Devout 
Buddhists offered their homage before the stone daily ; but 
whenever heretics, or wicked men, crowded round the stone 
in a contemptuous manner, then the dragon ( Ndga ) of the 
neighbouring tank let loose upon them a storm of wind and 

My excavations at Sarnath. were brought to a close sud- 
denly by my removal to Calcutta. Luckily I had prepared 
plans of the buildings while the exhumation was going on, 
for nothing whatever now remains of all my excavations, 
every stone and every brick having been removed long ago. 

The last excavations at Sarnath were made at the ex- 
pense of Government under the personal superintendence of 
Major Kittoe. On his departure for England in January 
1S53, in ill health, he carried away all his measurements and 
memoranda for the purpose of compiling an account of his 
discoveries for publication. His continued ill health and 
early death effectually prevented fulfilment of this intention, 
and no one, as far as I can learn, knows what has become of 
his papers. His drawings, which were numerous and valu- 
able, were sent to the India House Museum by Mr. Thomason. 
One of them has since been published in 1855 by Mr. Eer- 
gusson, and another in 1856 by Mrs. Spiers. f Major Kittoe’s 
inscriptions were entrusted to the charge of the Asiatic 
Society in Calcutta, evidently in deposit for the sake of safety, 
as he hoped to return again to India, and to prepare them 
for publication with his own hand. 

My account of Major Kittoe’s discoveries must neces- 
sarily be brief, as the only information which I possess is 
contained in along letter from himself, dated 19th May 1852, 
and in Mr. Thomas’ “ Note on the excavations at Sarnath.” X 
In writing to Major Kittoe previously, I had mentioned the 

* Julien’s Hwen Tlisang, II., 360. 

f See “Handbook of Architecture,” Vol. I., p. 7, and “Life in Ancient India,” p. 267. 
I have since seen these drawings in the Library at the India Office. They number about 
150, but their value is much impaired by the general want of names and descriptive titles. 

X Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1854, p. 469. 



three stupas which I had myself opened, and which I have 
already described. In reply he wrote — “ How do you make 
out three towers at Sarnath ? I make out four, to say nothing 
of innumerable smaller affairs down to the size of a walnut, 
which I have laid bare.” Attached to this he gave a rough 
sketch of the ground, showing the position of the fourth 
tower to be immediately to the north of Jagat Singh’s stupa, 
where I have accordingly inserted it, on his authority, in my 
survey of the ruins. Further on he writes — “ I have laid 
bare ehaityas upon chciityas , four and five deep, built one over 
the other.” In another place he describes the oblong court- 
yard which was excavated by himself at a distance of 125 
feet to the westward of the great tower, as a “large quad- 
rangle, or hospital, for I have found pestles and mortars 
( sills or flat stones for mashing), loongas, &c., &c.” This is 
the quadrangle marked Z. in my plan of the ruins. It is 60 
feet long from west to east, and 42 feet broad, and is surround- 
ed by a low wall 3 feet thick and T| foot high above the level 
of the terraced floor, parts of which still remain. Fixed in 
this wall are the stumps of twelve stone pillars, which are 
split in all directions as if destroyed by fire. I agree with 
Major Kittoe in thinking that this quadrangle is probably 
the ruin of a hospital. 

In reply to a question about stone umbrellas, Major 
Kittoe wrote to me as follows : “I have got hold of two, one 
in fragments {burnt), of say 6 feet diameter, mushroom- 
shaped, and another, also burnt, but not broken, elegantly 
carved in scroll on the inside, but nearly defaced by the ac- 
tion of saltpetre.” 

Of the great tower itself, Major Kittoe’s opinion was, 
that “ the arrangement was precisely the same as at Kan goon, 
rows and rows of small temples, umbrellas, pillars, &c., around 
the great tope. They all run north and south, and east and 
west, large and small.” To this account he added a small 
rough sketch showing the arrangement of the smaller stupas 
about the great tow r er. This sketch I have inserted in my 
survey in dotted lines.* Judging from the arrangement of the 
subsidiary buildings about the great stupas of Burmah and 
Ladak, with which I am personally acquainted, I have every 

t See sketch, of the ruins in Plate XXXII. 



reason to accept Major Kittoe’s sketch as a correct outline 
of wliat lie liad liimself ascertained by excavation ; but as 
the sketch is not drawn to scale, the relative sizes and dis- 
tances may not, perhaps, be quite accurate. 

Of bis other discoveries he wrote as follows : “ I have 
got fine specimens of carved bricks and two heads of Buddha, 
made of pounded brick and road-earth coated with fine shell 
lime, in beautiful preservation. I have a fine head of a 
female in white marble (partly calcined), and a portion of the 
arm. It has been a nearly life-size figure of Pdrvati” 

It will have been observed that every excavation made 
near Sarnath has revealed traces of fire. I myself found 
charred timber and half burnt grain. The same things were 
also found by Major Kittoe, besides the evident traces of fire 
on the stone pillars, umbrellas, and statues. So vividly was 
the impression of a great final catastrophe by fire fixed in 
Major Kittoe’s mind, by the discoveries made during his ex- 
cavations that he thus summed up his conclusions to me in a 
few words : “ all has been sacked and burnt , priests, temples, 
idols, all together. In some places, bones, iron, timber, idols, 
&c., are all fused into huge heaps; and this has happened 
more than once.” Major Kittoe repeated this opinion in 
almost the same words when I saw him at Gwalior in Sep- 
tember 1852. I will recur to this subject again before I 
conclude my account of the discoveries at Sarnath. 

On Major Kittoe’s departure from Banaras, the excava- 
tions were continued at first under Mr. E. Thomas, and 
afterwards under Professor EitzEdward Hall. To the former 
gentleman we are indebted for a general account of the state 
of the excavations at the time of his assuming charge, and 
more especially for a very clear and interesting description of 
the ancient monastery which was then being exhumed, and of 
the various articles which were discovered within its precincts. 
This work was subsequently completed by Mr. Ilall, and I 
have made a plan of the building as it now appears.* Mr. 
Thomas calls it an “ old Buddhist monastery,” and with this 
identification I fully agree. According to nwen Tlisang, 
there were no less than 30 monasteries about the Deer Park 
at Banaras, which together contained 3,000 monks, or an 
average of 100 monks each. Now the building under review 

* See Plate XXXII., excavations by Major Kittoe, wliicli were afterwards completed by 
Mr. Thomas and Dr. Hall. 



contains no less than 28 separate apartments, and if one of 
these he set aside as a shrine for a statue of Buddha, and a 
second as a hall for teaching, there Trill remain 26 cells for 
the accommodation of monks. Again, judging from the 
thickness of the walls, I am of opinion that the building 
could not have been less than 3 or 4 storeys in height. 
Assuming the latter to have been the actual height, the 
building would have contained 104 cells, and, therefore, may 
possibly have been one of the 30 monasteries noted by Hwen 

The ground plan of the monastery shews a central 
court 50 feet square, surrounded by pillars which must have 
supported an open verandah or cloister in front of the four 
ranges of cells. In the north-east corner of the court-yard 
there is an old well, 4 feet 10 inches in diameter, and 37 feet 
deep. As this well is placed on one side, I infer that the 
middle of the court was occupied by a stupa or a statue, or 
more probably, perhaps, by a holy tree, as I could not find 
any traces of the foundation of a building. On the outside, the 
building is 107 feet square. In the centre room on the north 
side, which is 18 feet in length, there are two large stones 
placed against the walls as if intended for the reception of 
statues. This also was Mr. Thomas’ opinion. This room, 
I believe, to have been the shrine of the monastery. In the 
centre room on the south side there is a “ square, elaborately 
corniced block,” which Mr. Thomas believed to have been 
the throne for a seated figure of Buddha. I incline, however, 
to the .opinion that this was the seat of the teacher for the 
daily reading and expounding of the Buddhist Scriptures. 
The cells on each side of these two central rooms are some- 
what larger than those on the eastern and western sides of the 
court, and were, therefore, probably assigned to the senior 
monks. The common cells are 8 \ feet by S feet, and each 
has a separate door. 

The ground plan of this monastery is similar to that of 
the large caves at Bagh and Ajanta, sketches of which have 
been given by Mr. Pergusson.* The plan is in fact almost 
identical with that of the Bagh Cave, the only difference 
being the want of cells in the cave monastery on the side 

* Handbook of Architecture, I., pp. 33, 34. 



opposite to the sanctuary, which was necessarily left open for 
the sake of affording light to the interior. The great cave 
at Junir is also similar in plan, hut it is apparently of older 
date, as it wants the sanctuary opposite the entrance. 

The destruction of this large monastery would appear to 
have been both sudden and unexpected, for Mr. Thomas 
records that Major Kittoe found “the remains of ready- 
made wheaten cakes in a small recess in the chamber to- 
wards the north-east angle of the square.” Mr. Thomas him- 
self also found portions of wheat and other grain spread out 
in one of the cells. These discoveries would seem to show 
that the conflagration had been so sudden and rapid as to force 
the monks to abandon their very food. Such also is Mr. 
Thomas’ opinion, conveyed in the following vivid descrip- 
tion: “The chambers on the eastern side of the square were 
“ found filled with a strange medley of uncooked food, hastily 
“ abandoned on their floors, — pottery of every-day life, nodes 
“ of brass produced apparently by the melting down of the 
“ cooking vessels in common use. Above these again were 
“ the remnants of the charred timbers of the roof, with iron 
“ nails still remaining in them, above which again appeared 
“ broken bricks mixed with earth and rubbish to the height 
“ of the extant walls, some 6 feet from the original flooring. 
“ Every item here bore evidence of a complete conflagration, 
“ and so intense seems to have .been the heat that, in 
“ portions of the wall still standing, the clay which formed 
“ the substitute for lime in binding the brick- work is baked 
“ to a similar consistency with the bricks themselves. In 
“ short, all existing indications lead to a necessary inference 
“ that the destruction of the building, by whomsoever caused, 
“ was effected by fire applied by the hand of an exterminating 
“ adversary, rather than by any ordinary accidental con- 
“ flagration.”* 

This opinon was expressed by Mr. Thomas in 1854, 
before the whole of the monastery had been exhumed. A 
later account has since been published by Dr. Butter in 1856, 
who stated his opinion that “ the burnt grain and masses 
of half fused iron discovered by Mr. II all corroborate the 

* Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1854, p. 472. 



conclusions drawn by previous explorers, that the monastery 
bad been destroyed by fire.”* 

During my stay at Banaras, I examined tbe collection 
of articles found by Professor Hall in the various excavations 
which he conducted at Sarnftth, and which are now deposited 
in the Museum of the College. The only article requiring 
special notice is No. 18, an impression in burnt clay, of a seal 
lij inch in diameter with two lines of Sanskrit, surmounted 
by a lozenge-shaped device, with two recumbent deer as sup- 
porters. The device of the two deer is significant, as it no 
doubt shows that the seal must have belonged to some 
person or establishment attached to the monastery of 
the Deer Park. The end of the upper line and the whole 
of the lower line of the inscription are too much injured to 
be made out satisfactorily. The inscription begins with the 
word Sri Saddharmma, “ the auspicious true Dharmma ,” and 
the letters at the end of the first line look very like Uakshita 
the “ Preserver.” This would be a man’s name Sri Sad - 
dharmma Uakshita, “ the Cherisher of the true Dharmma,” 
a title not uncommon amongst the Buddhists. Of the lower 
line I am unable to suggest any probable rendering. 

In the absence of any general plan of the ruins, showing 
the extent of the explorations carried on by Major Kittoe 
and his successors, I do not think it would be advisable to 
undertake any further excavations at Sarnath, Banaras; I 
have already suggested that the ground immediately around 
the great tower should be levelled for the purpose of affording 
easy acc.ess to visitors. f In carrying out this operation, every 
fragment of sculpture should be carefully preserved, as I 
think it very probable that some portions of the statues, 
which once adorned the eight niches of the great tower, may 
be discovered in the masses of rubbish now lying in heaps at 
its foot. It might, perhaps, be worth while to make a few 
tentative excavations in the mass of ruins to the north and 
north-west of the great tower, by digging long narrow 
trenches from west to east, and from north to south. Should 
these trenches uncover the remains of any large buildings. 

* Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 185G, p. 39G. 

t Tliis clearance of the ruins around the great stupa has since been made by 
Mr. Horne, to a breadth of 25 feet. 




the work might then, he continued. But should nothing 
promising he discovered, I would recommend the immediate 
stoppage of the work. 

Since this report was written, the Reverend Mr. Shcrring 
has published a very full and interesting account of Banaras, 
in which a whole chapter is dedicated to the Buddhist ruins 
at Sarnath.* In Appendix B. he has also given a transla- 
tion of Ilwen Thsang’s description of the holy places at 
Banaras, which is a most valuable addition, as M. Julien’s 
French translation is not easily procurable. 

* See Chapter XVIII., p. 230 of “ The Sacred City of the Hindus,” an account of 
Banaras in ancient and modern times, — by the Reverend M. A. Shcrring, with an introduc- 
tion by Fitz Edward Hall, Esq. 

Report of Operations of the Archaeological Surveyor to the Government of 
India during season 1862-63. 


In A. D. 634, when the Chinese pilgrim Ewen Thsang 
crossed the Satlaj from the westward, the first place that he 
visited was Po-li-ye-to-lo, or Pariyatra , which has been iden- 
tified by M. St. Martin with Vairat, to the northward of 
Jay pur. This place I have not yet visited, as my explora- 
tions during the cold season of 1862-63 were confined to 
Delhi, Matlmra, and Khalsi, on the line of the Jumna and 
to the ancient cities lying north of that river in the Gangefic 
Doab, Oudh, and Itokilkkand. In these provinces, I have 
followed Hwen Thsang’ s route from Matlmra to Srdvasti ; 
and, with his aid, I have been successful in discovering the 
once famous cities of Ahi-chhatra , Kosdmbi, Shdchi, and 
Srdvasti. The sites of other celebrated places have likewise 
been determined with almost equal certainty, as Srughna, 
Madipur, Govisana, Pilosana, Kusapura , and Dhopapapnra. 
I begin the account of my explorations at Delhi, which is 
the only place of note not visited hy the Chinese pilgrim, 
whose route I take up at Mathura, and follow throughout 
Bnhilkhand, the Doah, and Oudh. The places visited during 
this tour are accordingly described in the following order : 

I. Delhi. 

II. Mathura. 

III. Khalsi. 

IV, Madawar, or Madipur. 

V. Kashipur, or Govisana. 

VI. ltamnagar, or Ahi-chhatra. 

VII. Soron, or Sukrakshctra. 

VIII. Atranjikhera, or Pilosana. 

IX. Sankisa, or Sangkasya. 

X, Kanoj, or Kanyakubja. 

XI. Kakupur, or Ayuto. 

XII. Daundiakkera, or Mayamukha , 

XIII. Allahabad, or Praydga . 




Kosam, or Kosdmbi. 


Sultanpur, or Kusapurci. 




Ajudhya, or Sdketci. 


Ilatila, or Asokpur. 


Sahet-Mahet, or Sravasti, 










Parasua Kot. 






The remains of Delhi arc graphically described by Bishop 
Ileber* as “ a very awful scene of desolation, ruins after 
ruins, tombs after tombs, fragments of brick-work, free- 
stone, granite, and marble, scattered everywhere over a soil 
“ naturally rocky and barren, without cultivation, except in 
ee one or two small spots, and without a single tree.” This 
waste of ruins extends from the south end of the present 
city of Shahjahanabad to the deserted forts of llai Pithora 
and Tughlakabad, a distance of 10 miles. The breadth at 
the northern end, opposite Piruz Shah’s Kotila, is about 3 
miles, and at the southern end, from the Kutb Minar to 
Tughlakabad, it is rather more than 6 miles ; the whole area 
covered with ruins being not less than 45 square miles. It 
is most probable, however, that not more than a third of this 
extent was ever occupied at any one period, as the present 
ruins are the remains of seven cities, which were built at 
different times by seven of the old Kings of Delhi. f 

Other forts are recorded to have been built by the 
Emperors Balban, Kai-Kubad, and Mubarak; but there are 
no remains of them now existing, and the very sites of them 
are doubtful. It seems even probable that there were no 
remains of these three cities so far back as A. D. 1611, in 
the reign of Jahangir, when the English merchant, William 
Pinch, travelling from Agra to Delhi, entered the Mogul 

* Journal II., page 290. 

+ Sec Plate No. XXXV. for a map of tlio ruins at Delhi. 


Plate “XXXV. 

Strtie. Pillar 




Jar-ozt' 1 r 

3 Gz&ji<L- »f ^ 


/ W Kubxdi 



% 0& 

\v^PURAN A *K IL; 

f. Tomb 


Mansur Ml ] 

3 ah 2 x>tyur 



Ffouax. Alar 

Ham, KhrLs 1 

' TargaJu .J 

' * Shrkk. 

jahmN -PANRH .tela* 

/ ray ^ 




r 4i^-L UGH LAKABAt * 

r^xii\j VaJ g' 

-y W&utbL 

\ kAMaharclh 

TiuJhLzkk Tomb 




Capital from (lie south, for ho states that on his left hand he 
saw the ruins of “old Delhi , ccdled the 7 castles and 52 
gates ,” a name by which these ruins are still known in the 
present day. With regard to the work of the Emperor 
Ghias-uddin-JBalban, who reigned from A. D. 12G6 to 1288, 
I think that too great importance has been attached to its 
name of Kila or fort. The Kila Marzghan , which Syad 
Ahmed places at Ghidspur , near the tomb of Nizdm-uddm 
Aidia , was built as an asylum, marja , or place of refuge for 
debtors. Now, this asylum for debtors was still existing in 
A. D. 1335 to 1340, when Ibn Eatuta was one of the Ma- 
gistrates of Delhi. He describes it as the Ddr-id-aman , or 
“ House of Safety,” and states that he visited the tomb of 
Balban, which was inside this house. From this, as well as 
from its name of Ddr-ul-aman, I infer that the building was 
a walled enclosure of moderate size, perhaps not much larger 
than that which now surrounds the tomb of Tughlak Shah. 
This inference is rendered almost certain by Ibn Eatuta’s 
description of Delhi,* which, he says, “ now consists of four 
cities, which becoming contiguous, have formed one A Now 
three of the four cities here alluded to are certainly those of 
Dai Dithora , Jahcm-pandh , and Sen (of which the continuous 
walls can be easily traced even at the present day), and the 
fourth city must have been Tughlakabad. No particular date 
can be assigned to Jahan-panah which was an open suburb 
until the time of Muhammad Tughlak, who first enclosed it 
with walls ; but as Ibn Eatuta was one of the Magistrates of 
Delhi under this Emperor, it is certain that Jahan-panah must 
have been one of the four cities described by him. I feel 
quite satisfied, therefore, that the Kila-Marzghan, called also 
Ddr-ul-aman , or “House of Refuge,” was not a fortress, or 
large fortified city, but only a small walled enclosure sur- 
rounding his own tomb, and forming, at the same time, 
a place sufficiently large as an asylum for debtors and 

The city of Kai-Kubad, called Kilu-ghari , was certainly 
situated on the bank of the Jumna,! where the name is still 

* Travels, translated, by Dr. Lee, p. 111. 

t Gladwin’ a Ain Akbari, II., p. 80 ; and Briggs’s Ferishta, I., p. 274. 



found attached to a small village on the south-east of Huma- 
yun’s tomb. The new city of Mubarak, named Mubarakabad, 
was also situated on the bank of the Jumna.* 

The “ seven forts” of old Delhi, of which remains still 
exist, are, according to my view, the following : 

1. — Lalkot, built by Anang Pal about A. D. 1052. 

2. — Kila Ecu Dithora , built by Itai Pithora about A. D. 


3. — Siri, or Kila- Alai, built by Ala-uddin in A. D. 1304. 

4. — TughlaJcabad, built by Tughlak Shah in A. D. 1321. 

5. — Citadel of Tughlakabad, ditto ditto. 

G. — Adilabad , built by Muhammad Tughlak about A. D. 


7. — Jalidn-Dandh , enclosed by ditto. 

In this list there is no mention of Indraprastha, because this 
celebrated capital of the Pandus is always described as being 
situated on the hank of the J umna, which would have been 
on the right hand of the English traveller, and because the 
present fort of Indrapat, no doubt, represents some portion of 
the actual site, as well as the name of the famous city of 
Yudhishthira. Indraprastha and Delhi were, therefore, two 
different cities, situated about 5 miles apart, — the former 
on the bank of the Jumna above Humavun’s tomb, 
and the latter on a rocky hill to the south-west, sur- 
rounding the well known Iron Pillar. At the time of the 
Muhammadan conquest, the Hindu city of Dilli was confined 
to the two forts of Lalkot and Pai Pithora ; but after Eiruz 
Shah had moved the seat of Government to Eiruzabad on the 
very site of the ancient Indraprastha, the name of Dilli was 
some times applied to the whole of the old city, including the 
Musalman fort of Siri and the fortified suburbs of Jahdn- 
panah. Sharf-uddin, the historian of Timur, restricts the 
name of old Delhi to the two Hindu forts, and describes the 
cities of Siri and Jahdn-pandh separately. Eerishta also 
does the same in his account of the latter kings of the 
Tughlak dynasty. But after Humayun had re-built Indrapat, 

* Briggs’s Ferislita. I., p. 5 829 ; see also the contemporary statement of the author of 
the Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shiihi, quoted by Mr. Thomas — “ Chronicles of the Pathan Kings, 
p. 332, note. 



under tlie name of Din-panah, and after Sliir Shah had 
founded his fort of Kila- Shir- Shah on the site of Eiruzabad 
and Indraprastha, the common people began to use the names 
of old Delhi and new Delhi — the former being confined to 
the cluster of cities about the Hindu Dilli, while the latter 
was applied to those situated on the Jumna, on the site 
of the ancient Indraprastha. 

Indraprastha or Indrapat. — At the time of the Malm - 
hlidrata , or “ Great War” between the Pandus and Kurus, 
this was one of the well known five pats or prasthas which 
were demanded from Duryodlian by Yudhisthira as the price 
of peace. These five pats which still exist, were Tdnipat 
Sonpat , Indr pat, Tilpat, and Bdghpat, of which all but 
the last were situated on the right or western bank of the 
Jumna. The term prastha, according to H. H. Wilson, 
means anything “spread out or extended,” and is commonly 
applied to any level piece of ground, including also table- 
land on the top of a hill. But its more literal and restricted 
meaning would' appear to be that particular extent of land 
which would require a prastha of seed, that is, 48 double 
handfulls, or about 48 imperial pints, or two-thirds of a 
bushel. This was, no doubt, its original meaning, but in the 
lapse of time it must gradually have acquired the meaning, 
which it still has, of any good sized piece of open plain. 
Indraprastha would, therefore, mean the plain of Indra, which 
was, I presume, the name of the person who first settled 
there. Popular tradition assigns the five pats to the five 
Pandu brothers. 

The date of the occupation of Indraprastha as a capi- 
tal by Judhisthira, may, as I believe, be attributed, with 
some confidence, to the latter half of the 15tli century before 
Christ. The grounds on which I base this belief are as 
follows : 1st, that certain positions of the planets, as record- 
ed in the Mahdblidrata , are shown by Bentley to have taken 
place in 1824-25 B. C., who adds that “ there is no other 
year, either before that period or since, in which they were 
so situated ;” 2nd, in the Vishnu Purana it is stated that at 
the birth of Burikshita, the son of Arjuna Bdndava, the 
seven Bishis were in Maghd , and that when they are in 
Buna Ashdrha Nanda will begin to reign. Now, as the 
seven Bishis, or stars of the Great Bear, are supposed to 
pass from one lunar asterism to another in 100 years, the 



interval between Parikshita and Xanda will be ] ,000 years. 
Put in the Bhagavata Purana this interval is said to be 1,015 
years, which added to 100 years, the duration of the reigns 
of the nine Xandas, will place the birth of Parikshita 1,115 
years before the accession of Chandra Gupta in 315 B. C., 
that is, in 1430 B. C. By this account the birth of JParik- 
shita, the son of Arjuna, took place just six years before the 
Great War in B. C. 1424. These dates, which arc derived from 
two independent sources, mutually support each other, and 
therefore seem to me to be more worthy of credit than any 
other Hindu dates of so remote a period. 

Indraprastha, the city of Yudhisthira, was built along 
the bank of the River Jumna between the Kotila of Piruz 
Shah and the tomb of Humayun. At that time the river 
flowed upwards of one mile to the westward of its present 
course, and the old bed is^ still easily traceable from Piruz 
Shah’s Kotila, past Indrpat and Humayun’s tomb to Kila 
Ghari. The last place was on the immediate bank of the 
river, so late as the reign of Kaikubad in A. 1). 1290, as his 
assassins are reported to have thrown his body out of the 
palace window into the Jumna. The name of Indraprastha 
is still preserved in that of Indrpat, a small fort, which is 
also known by the name of Parana Kila or the “ old fort.” 
This place was repaired by the Emperor Ilumayun, who 
changed its name to Din-p&nah ; but none, save educated 
Musalmans ever make use of this name, as the common 
people invariably call it either Indrpat or Purana Kila. In 
its present form, this place is altogether a Muhammadan 
structure ; and I do not believe that there now exists even 
a single carved stone of the original city of Yudhisthira. 
The only spot that has any claim to have belonged to the 
ancient city is a place of pilgrimage on the Jumna called 
Nigamhbod Ghat, which is immediately outside the northern 
wall of the city of Shahjahdndbad. This ghat is celebrated 
as the place where Yudhisthira, after his performance of the 
Aswamedha, or “ horse sacrifice,” celebrated the Horn. A fair 
is held at Xigambod whenever the new moon falls on a 
Monday. It is said to be held in honor of the River Jumna. 

According to the Bhagavata Purana, Yudhisthira was 
the first King of Indraprastha, and the throne was occupied 
by the descendants of his brother Arjuna for 30 generations 
down to Ksliemaka. This last prince was deposed, according 



to all tlie copies of the Rajavali, by his Minister Visarwa, of 
whose family 14 persons are said to have held the throne for 
500 years. They were succeeded by a dynasty of 15 Gciuta- 
mas, or Gotama-vansas, who were followed by a family of 
nine Mciyuras. JEtaja-pala, the last of the Mayuras, is stated 
to have been attacked and killed by the Raja of Kurnaon, 
named Sakdditya, or “ Lord of the Sakas.” But this was 
only the title, and not the name, of the conqueror; for 
Vikramaditya is said to have obtained his title of Salcari by 
defeating him. 

At this point of the traditional histories, the name of 
Dilli makes its first appearance;* but nothing is recorded 
regarding the change of name, and we are left to conjecture 
whether the city of Dilli had already been founded, or whether 
this name has been used instead of that of Indraprastha 
through simple inadvertence. According to one tradition, 
which is but little known, the city of Dilli was founded by 
Raja Dilipa, who was the ancestor in the fifth generation of 
the five Pandu brothers. But this story may be dismissed at 
once as an ignorant invention, as Dilli is universally 
acknowledged to be of much later date than Indraprastha, the 
city of Yudhisthira himself. 

According to a popular and well known tradition, Dilli 
or Dhili, was built by Raja Dilu, or Dliilu, whose date is quite 
uncertain. This tradition was adopted by Perishta, who 
adds that Raja Dilu , after a reign of either 4 or 40 years, 
was attacked and killed by Raja Dhur, or Porus, of Kurnaon, 
who was • the antagonist of Alexander the Great. If this 
statement could be depended upon, it might perhaps be 
entitled to some consideration, as giving the probable period 
of the foundation of Dilli. But unfortunately Perishta’s 
ancient chronology is a mere jumble of errors; thus, for 
instance, Phur’s nephew, Juna, who should have been a con- 
temporary of Seleukos Nikator, is said to be a contemporary 
of Ardashir Babekan, the founder of the Sassanian dynasty 
in A. D. 226. But Ardashir himself is afterwards made a 
contemporary of Vikramaditya of Ujain in 57 B. C. The 
most probable explanation of these different dates would seem 

* In Chand’s Prithi-Raj -Raisa, the name is invariably written Dillt, with the first vowel 
short, and the other long. In one place I have found the city called Dillipur, which might 
as probably be derived from Diilip as from Dilu, 




to be some confusion regarding tbc name of Ardashir, and 
perhaps the safest plan will be to accept the author’s last 
statement, that 11a j a Dilu was a contemporary of Vikrama- 

Now the story of Dilu , and of his defeat by Phur, Raja 
of Kumaon, is exactly the same as that of Raja Reel, 
King of Dilli, and of his defeat by Sukwcinti (or Sukdat 
or Sukaditya), Raja of Kumaon, as related in several 
different copies of the Rajavali. As in all of these the in- 
vader is said to have been defeated and slain by Vikrama- 
ditya Sakari, the date of this event must be assigned either 
to 57 B. C. or to A. D. 79. The latter date is the true one, 
according to Abu Rihan ; and as Sakaditya is said to have 
reigned 14 years in Dilli, his conquest must have taken place 
in A. D. 65. I confess, however, that I have but little faith 
in the dates of any Hindu traditionary stories, unless they 
can be supported by other testimony. That the city of Dilli 
was founded by a Raja of similar name, is probable enough, 
for it is the common custom of India, even at the present 
day, to name places after their founders. But there is un- 
fortunately so much uncertainty about the dates in all the 
stories connected with the foundation of Dilli, that it is 
difficult to form any satisfactory conclusion as to the 

According to Kharg Rai, the Gwalior Bhat, who wrote 
in the reign of Shahjalian, the last Pandu Prince, named 
Nildghpati , was King of Dilli when 3000 years of the Kali- 
yuga had expired, that is, in 101 B. C. In that year he was 
attacked by a Raghuvansi Raja, named Sankhdhwaj, with 
whom he fought 17 battles, but was eventually defeated and 
killed after a reign of 44 years, which brings us to 57 B. C. 
Sankhdhwaj bimself is said to have been defeated and killed by 
the famous Vikramaditya of Ujain, who thus became King 
of Dilli (Dilli-pat-kahayo). His descendants are recorded 
to have reigned in Ujain for 792 years, during the whole of 
which time Dilli was deserted (ujarh raid). At the end of 
these 792 years, or in 792 — 56f = 735J years complete, or 
A. D. 736, Dilli was re-peopled by Bilan De Tomar , whose 
descendants occupied the throne until displaced by the Clio- 
hans under Bisal De, who is no doubt the Visala Deva of the 
two inscriptions on Piruz Shah’s Pillar. 



In this account of Kliarg Rai, I recognize another ver- 
sion of the former story of the Raja of Dilli being overcome 
by the King of the Sakas, who was himself afterwards de- 
feated hy Yikramaditya. The name of Sankhdhwaj would 
appear to be only a misreading either of Sakwant , or of Sak- 
dat or Sakaditya ; hut Nildgh-pali is quite unlike Raja Pal, 
although it might be a mistake for Tilak pati, and would 
thus, perhaps, have some connection with the name of Raja 

I think also that I can recognize another version of 
the same legend in the story of Basal, King of Hind, and 
his sons Rawal and Barkamarys, as preserved in the Mojmal- 
ut-tawarikh of Rashiduddin.* In this version King Rasal, 
whom I would conjecturally identify with Raja Pal of the 
Rajavali, is driven from his throne by a rebel, who is after- 
wards conquered by Barkamarys, a name in which, though 
slightly altered, I still recognize the famous Bikramddit or 

The overthrow of the Sakas is universally attributed to 
the Yikramaditya who assumed the title of Sakdri, and 
established the era which still bears his name, beginning in 
57 B. G. But if the prince who founded this era was a con- 
temporary of Pravarasena, Raja of Kashmir, and of the 
poet Kalidasa, as well as of the Astronomer Yaraka Mikira, 
as there seems good reason to believe, it is quite certain that 
he cannot be dated earlier than the beginning of the sixth 
century ,of the Christian era. This conclusion is supported 
by the strong testimony of Abu Rikan, who states that the 
great victory over the Sakas was gained at a place called 
Koror, between Multan and Loni, by a prince named Yik- 
ramaditya, just 135 years after the prince of the same name 
who founded the Yikrama Samvat. As the date of this 
event corresponds exactly with the initial point of the 
Sake-era, which was established hy Sdlivahana, it results that 
the Yikramaditya of Abu Rikan is identical with the Sali- 
vahana of the popular Indian traditions. This conclusion 
is further strengthened by the fact that in Colonel James 
Abbott’s list of the Rajas of Syalkot, a reign of 90 years 
is assigned to Salivakana, which is exactly the same as is 

# Remaud, “Fragments Arabes,” &e., p. 47. 



allotted to Vikramaditya, tlie conqueror of tlie Sakas, in all 
tlie seven copies of the Rajavali that I have seen. On these 
grounds, I venture, with some confidence, to fix the date of 
the defeat of the Saka conqueror of Dilli in A. D. 78, which 
is the initial point of the Sake-era of Salivahana. 

Accepting this date as tolerably well established for an 
event in ancient Indian history, the foundation of Dilli must 
he placed at some earlier period, and perhaps the date of 57 
E. C., or contemporary with Vikramaditya, as recorded by 
Ferishta, may not he far from the truth. Regarding the 
widely spread tradition that Dilli was deserted for 792 years, 
from the conquest of Vikramaditya to the time of the first 
Tomara Raja Anang Pal, I think that it may he fully ex- 
plained by supposing that during that period Dilli was not the 
residence of the King. It is almost certain that it was not the 
capital of the powerful family of the Guptas, who most probab- 
ly reigned from A. D. 78 to 319 ; and it is quite certain that 
it was not the capital of the great King Harsha Vardlihana and 
his immediate predecessors, whose metropolis was Kanoj du- 
ring the latter half of the sixth, and the first half of the seventh 
century. That Dilli was most probably occupied during 
this period, we may infer from the erection of the Iron 
Pillar by Raja DMvci, the date of which is assigned to the 
third or fourth century by James Prinsep.* Mr. Thomas 
“ considers that Prinsep has assigned too high an antiquity 
to the style of writing employed on this monument but 
on this point I venture to differ, as I. find, after a careful 
examination of the inscription, that the whole of the letters 
are the same as those of the records of the Gupta dynasty, 
whose downfall is assigned to A. D. 319 by Abu Rilian, 
I think it probable that Raja Dhava may have been one of 
the princes who assisted in the overthrow of the once power- 
ful Guptas, and I would, therefore, fix on A. D. 319 as an 
easily remembered and useful approximation to his true 

A still earlier mention of Dilli may possibly be found in 
Ptolemy’s Daidala, which is placed close to Indabara (perhaps 
Indrpat,) and midway between Modura or Mathura, and Batan 
Kaisara , or Sthaneswara. For the last name I propose to 
read Satanaisara as its position between Mathura and 

Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1S38, p. 629. 



Zulindrine or the Jalandhar Doab renders it almost certain 
that it must be Stlmneswara or Thanesar. The close proxi- 
mity of Daidala to Indabara , joined to the curious resem- 
blance of their names to Dilli and Indrpat, seems to me to 
offer very fair grounds for assuming their probable identity 
with these two famous Indian cities. 

The ancient city of Dilli may, with tolerable certainty, 
be considered to have occupied almost the same site as the 
fort of Dai Pithora, as it is to be presumed that the Iron 
Pillar must have been erected in some conspicuous position, 
either within the old city, or close to it. With the solitary 
exception of the Iron Pillar, I am not aware that there are 
any existing remains that can be assigned with certainty to 
the old Hindu city of Dilli. A single pillar, amongst the 
many hundreds that now form the colonnades of the Kutb 
Minar, may perhaps belong to the old city, as it bears a 
figure either of Buddha the Ascetic seated in contemplation, 
or of one of the Jain hierarchs. No doubt some, and per- 
haps even many, of the pillars of these colonnades may have 
belonged to temples of the old Hindu city; but after a 
minute examination on three successive days, of the sculptures 
on the pillars, and of all the letters and mason’s marks on 
the pillars and walls, I came to the unwilling conclusion that 
(with the two exceptions just noted) there is nothing now 
existing that is older than the tenth or eleventh century. 

According to the tradition which is universally accepted 
by all Hindus, the city of Dilli was re-built by Anang Pal, 
the first* King of the Tomar dynasty. The manuscript of 
Kliarg Dai, which I obtained at Gwalior, names him Bilan 
Be, and a second manuscript, received from Bikaner, calls 
him Bilan Deo or Anang Bdl ; but Abul Pazl, Colonel Tod, 
and Syad Ahmad call him simply Anang Pal ; and he is so 
named in two inscriptions which are found on the Iron Pillar. 
The date of Anang Pal, the founder of the Tomar dynasty, 
is variously given by the different authorities ; but even the 
most discrepant of these dates, when carefully examined, 
will be found to agree within a few years of the others. The 
different dates given are as follows : 

1$£. — The Gwalior manuscript of Kliarg Rai. — This date 
has already been referred to. Kharg Rai states 
that Dilli was deserted for 792 years after 



Vikramaditya, wlien it was re-founded 
Bilan De Tomar. This gives the year A. D. 
736 as before noted. Colonel Tod refers to the 
same tradition when he states that Delhi lay 
waste for eight centuries.* But I am satisfied 
that he had the well known number of 792 
recorded in his notes, for, in the very same 
page in which he makes the above statement, 
he gives the date of the re-building of Dilli 
by Anang Pal as Samvat 848, which, by using 
his erroneous difference of 56 years, instead of 
57, is equivalent to A. D. 792. But in an- 
other part of his work, Colonel Tod states 
that he possessed the original Hindu manuscript 
which Abul Pazl had used, and that the 
date of the re-building of Dilli by Anang Pal 
was Samvat 829 instead of S. 429. I strongly 
suspect that Colonel Tod has made a mistake 
in this last statement, for I found, on examining 
the bard Muk-ji’s manuscript, then in the 
possession of his sons, that S. 821 is the date 
assigned to the overthrow of the Tomaras, and 
not to their rise. Prom these different state- 
ments I feel assured that he must have found 
the number 792 recorded in his notes without 
any explanation, and that he erroneously 
adopted it as the date of the re-founding of 

2nd . — In the Ain Akbari of Abul Pazl, the date of 
Anang Pal is placed in Samvat 429, and the 
end of the Tomar dynasty in S. 848 ;f thus 
limiting the rule of the Tomaras to 419 years, 
while his detailed account of the lengths of 
reigns amounts to 437 years. The former 
period has been adopted by Syad Ahmad, as I 
think, judiciously, because of the increased 
chances of error in the detail of twenty reigns. 
On the Iron Pillar this date is given as S. 419, 
and the fall of the dynasty is assigned to S. 648, 

# Rajasthan, I., p. 87. 
t Gladwin’s Translation, I., pp. 96 and 97. 



which is most probably an error of the en- 
graver for S. 846. The difference between 
these dates is 427 years. 

3rd. — In two manuscripts from Kumaon and Garhwal, 
the date of the first Tomara Raja is given as 
13 th Bhadon S. 846, which is equivalent to 
A. D. 789.* But as both of these manuscripts 
omit the first three names, which are found in 
all the other manuscripts, I conclude that the 
date therein given is that of the fourth prince 
of the other lists. Deducting, therefore, from 
the above date the sum of the three omitted 
reigns, which amount to 58 years, we obtain 
A. D. 731 as another period for the re-building 
of Dilli by Anang Pal. 

It will be observed that the three manuscripts from 
Gwalior, Kumaon, and Garhwal, place the date of the re- 
founding of Dilli in the eighth century A. D., whereas Abul 
Pazl and the inscription on the Iron Pillar refer this event 
to the fourth century A. D. ; and so also does the author of 
the Araish-i-Mahfil , who gives S. 440. Now, although Abul 
Pazl specially notes that his date of 429 is of the era of 
Vikramaditya, yet he is most undoubtedly wrong, as I will 
now show from other statements of his own. According to 
this account, the Tomar dynasty, which lasted 419 years, 
was succeeded by the Chohan dynasty, which ruled for 83 
years, and was then overcome by Sultan Mudz-uddin Same. 
The period of this event is stated to be A. IT. 588, or A. D. 
1192. Now, deducting 419 + 83, or 502 years, from A. D. 
1192, we obtain A. D. 690 as the true date of Anang Pal 
according to Abul Pazl’s own figures, instead of S. 429 — 57, 
or A. D. 372, as stated in his text. But as the rule of the 
Chohans is limited to 41-^- years in my two manuscripts from. 
Kumaon and Garhwal, and to 40 years in my Gwalior 
manuscript, I think that the authority of these three records 
may be taken as at least of equal weight with that of the 
Ain Akbari. The true periods of the two dynasties will, 
therefore, be 419 + 41 = 460 years, which deducted from 
A. D. 1191, the corrected date of Muaz-uddin’s conquest, will 

* A third MS. from KedarnUth agrees generally with the two previously obtained 
from Bhimtal and Srinagar. 


give A. D. 731 for Anang Pal’s re-building of Dilli, which 
is within five years of the traditional date of A. I). 736, 
already noticed. 

The only explanation which I can propose of the great 
discrepancy between the true date and that which is stated 
in the Ain Akbari is, that Abul Pazl simply mistook the era 
in which he found the date recorded. Now, if we suppose 
that the era of his dates was that of BalcibJii, which began 
A. D. 319, we shall have S. 429 + 318 = 747 A. D. as the 
corrected date for the re-building of Dilli by Anang Pal 
according to Abul Pazl. But by using the date of S. 419, 
which is recorded on the Iron Pillar, we shall obtain A. D. 
737, which is within one year of the date already fixed by 
the traditional story of Dilli having lain waste for 792 years, 
and which agrees also with the date derived from the lengths 
of reigns by working backwards from A. D. 1193, the period 
of Muaz-uddin’s conquest. I therefore look upon the date 
of A. D. 736 for the re-building of Dilli under Anang Pal 
as being established on grounds that are more than usually 
firm for early Indian History. The famous poet Mir Khusru, 
of Delhi, who wrote both before and after A. D. 1300, gives 
an amusing ancedote of Anang Pal, “a great Rai, who lived 
five or six hundred years ago.” “ At the entrance of his 
palace he had placed two lions, sculptured in stone. He fixed 
a bell by the side of the two lions, in order that those who 
sought justice might strike it, upon which the Rai would 
order them to be summoned, would listen to their complaints, 
and render justice. One day a crow came and sat on the 
bell, and struck it, when the Rai asked who the complainant 
was. It is a fact, not unknown, that bold crows will pick 
meat from between the teeth of lions. As stone lions cannot 
hunt for their prey, where could the crow obtain its usual 
sustenance ? As the Rai was satisfied that the crow justly 
complained of hunger, having come to sit by his stone lions, 
he gave orders that some goats and sheep should be killed, 
on which the crow might feed himself for some days.”* 

* Sir H. M. Elliot’s Muhammadan Historians of India, edited by Dowson, III., 565. 
From this story we learn that so early as A D. 1300 Auang Pal was believed to have reigned 
in Delhi between 700 and 800 A. D., which agrees exactly with the statements of the 



Accepting tliis date of A. D. 736, we have to account 
for the period of 792 years during which Dilli is said to have 
lain waste, when it is almost certain that, the city must have 
been occupied at the time when Raja Dhdvci erected the Iron 
Pillar. Perhaps the simplest explanation is that which I 
have already given, viz., that during this period Dilli was 
not the metropolis of the Kings of Upper India. The silence 
of the Chinese pilgrims Ea Ilian and Hwen Thsang regarding 
Dilli may, perhaps, he considered as a strong proof of the small- 
ness of the city from A. D. 400 to 640. Ea Hian, however, 
does not mention any place between Taxila and Mathura, 
and Hwen Thsang could only have passed through Dilli once, 
viz., when he returned from Mathura to Thanesar. It is 
even possible that he may have travelled by Mirat, which 
then possessed one of Asoka’s Pillars, for, if Dilli was not 
a famous place amongst the Buddhists, as I believe it was 
not, it is improbable that he would have visited it. 

Dilli must, however, have been the Capital of Anang 
Pal, and most probably also of several of his successors ; but 
I have a strong suspicion that the later Rajas of the Tomar 
dynasty resided at Kanoj. M. Reinaud remarks that Otbi, 
the historian of Mahmud, makes no mention of the city of 
Dilli, and that only a single allusion to it is made by Abu 
Rilian in his Kanun-al-masudi. It is, indeed, a fact worthy 
of special notice that Dilli is not once mentioned in Abu 
Rihan’s geographical chapter, which gives the routes between 
all the principal places in Northern India. He notices 
Thanesai:, and Mathura, and Kanoj, but Dilli is never men- 
tioned, an omission which could hardly have happened had 
Dilli been the capital of the famous Tomar Rajas at that 
time. I conclude, therefore, that Dilli was not their resi- 
dence in the beginning of the eleventh century, and I think 
that I can show with much probability that Kanoj was the 
metropolis of the Tomar Rajas for several generations prior 
to the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni. 

In A. H. 303, or A. D. 915, India was visited by the 
well known Geographer Masudi, who records that “ the King 
of Kanoj, who is one of the Kings of es-Sind, is Budah ; this 
is a title general to all Kings of el- Kanoj.”* The name 

* Sir H. M. Elliot— Historians of India, I., 57. 


1 1G 


which in tlie above extract is read as Budah by Sir Henry 
Elliot is said by Gildemeister,* to be written Bovarah in the 
original, for which he proposes to read Boravah, for the well 
known Baurciva. Erom the King of Oudh’s Dictionary two 
different spellings are quoted, as Bordn, and For an ; while 
in Eerishta the name is either Korrah, as written by Dow, 
or Kuwar, as written by Briggs. In Abulfeda the name is 
Nodah. Now, as the name, of which so many readings have 
just been given, was that of the King’s family or tribe, I 
believe that we may almost certainly adopt Tovarah 
as the true reading according to one spelling, and Torali, 
according to the other. In the Sanskrit inscriptions of the 
GAvalior dynasty of this name, the word is invariably spelt 
Tomara. Kharg Eai writes Todr, which is much the same 
as Colonel Tod’s Tudr , and the Tuvdr, of the Kumaon and 
Garhwal manuscripts. Lastly, in Gladwin’s Ain Akbari 
I find Tenore and Toonoor, for which I presume that the 
original has simply, Tunwar. Erom a comparison of all 
these various readings, I conclude that the family name of the 
Eaja of Kanoj in A. D. 915, when Masudi visited India, 
and again in A. D. 1017 and 1021, when Mahmud of 
Ghazni invaded India, was in all probability Tovar or Tomar. 
In favour of this conclusion there is the further testimony 
of Masudi that in A. D. 915 the four great Kings of India 
known to the Musalmans were, 1st, the Balhard, who lived 
in Mtinlur ; 2nd, the King of Kanoj ; 3rd, the King of 
Kashmir ; and 4th, the King of Sind. As no King of Dilli 
is mentioned, it seems not unreasonable to infer that at that 
time, in A. D. 915, the poAverful Tomars most probably held 
their Court at Kanoj. 

If I am correct in the above identification, then the 
name of the King at the time of Mahmud’s invasion should 
correspond with that of the Tomar Eaja, who, according to 
the genealogical lists, was reigning at that particular period. 
According to Othi\ the name of this Eaja of Kanoj 
was Baj Pal, or Rdjaipal, which I take to be equivalent 
to Eaja Jaypdl. Now the 14th prince in Abul Eazl’s list! 

# Scriptorum Arab de rebus Indicis, p. ICO. 
f Remaud Fragments, Arabes, p. 2G3. 

J Ain Akbari, II — 94. 



is Jaypal, whose death, according to the lengths of reigns 
given in the Ain Akbari, occurred 287 years and 6 months 
after the re-building of Dilli by Anang Pal. Adding this 
number to A. D. 736J, we obtain the year 1023f as that 
of the death of Jaypal. By comparing the lists of Abul 
Eazl and Syad Ahmad with those of my Gwalior, Kumaon, 
and Garhwal manuscripts, and taking the lengths of reigns 
according to the majority of these five authorities, the period 
elapsed from the accession of Anang Pal to the death of 
Jaypal, amounts to 285 years and 6 months. Adding this 
number to A. X). 736J, we get 1021f as the date of Jaypal’s 
death, which is, I believe, within a few months of the true 
date. According to Perislita,* Mahmud first heard of the 
alliance of the Hindu princes against his tributary the King 
of Kanoj, some time in the Hijra year 412, which began on 
17th April 1021. As several other events are previously 
recorded, and as Mahmud is said to have marched to his aid 
at once, I conclude that he may have left Ghazni about 
October 1021, and as Kanoj is three months’ march distant 
from Ghazni, f he must have reached that city in January 
1022. On his arrival, Mahmud found that the King of Kanoj 
had already been attacked and killed. The death of Jaypal 
must, therefore, have occurred about December 1021, which 
agrees almost exactly with the date of his death, which I have 
already deduced from the genealogical lists. Precisely the 
same date also is obtained by working backwards by lengths 
of reigns from the date of Muazuddin’s conquest of Dilli in 
A. D. 1191. 

Since this account was written, the 2nd volume of Pro- 
fessor Dowson’s edition of Sir H. M. Elliot’s Muhammadan 
Historians of India has appeared, which contains t a transla- 
tion of the Mirat-i-Asrdr , being a fabulous relation of the 
acts of Salar Sahu and his son Salar Masaud. The latter is 
said to have captured Delhi, and to have killed the King 
named Mahipal. But as Masaud was born in A. D. 1014, 
and was 18 years of age when he reached Oudh, after passing 
Delhi and Kanoj, the capture of Delhi cannot have taken 
place earlier than A. D. 1030, when he was 17 years of age. 

* Briggs, I — 63. 

+ Briggs’s Ferislita, I — 57. 
i Appendix, pp. 515 — 549. 



But as the King of Kanoj is called Jaypal, whom we know 
to have been killed in A. 3). 1021, I have no faith in the 
truth of the narrative, which was compiled by a credulous 
author in the reign of Jahangir. There are two Mahipals in 
the lists, one of whom formed the lake and gave his name to 
the village of Mahipalpur, but neither of their dates 
fits with that of Salar Masaud. The silence of the contem- 
porary historian Otbi regarding Delhi, and its immunity from 
attack during the long reign of Mahmud, when the neigh- 
bouring cities of Thanesar, Mirat, Mathura, and Kanoj, were 
all captured, seem to me quite incredible on any other suppo- 
sition than that which I have endeavoured to prove, namely, 
that Delhi was then a comparatively unimportant town, 
without any means of defence, as Lalkot had not then been 
built, and without the wealth of a capital, to attract the 
cupidity of an invader. The occurrence of the two names of 
Jaypal and Kuwar Pal in the list of Tomar Princes of Delhi 
at the very time that the same names are given by the Muham- 
madan historians as those of two Kings of Kanoj, seems to me 
to admit of only one explanation — that they were identical. 

The following lists of the Tomar dynasty of Dilli contain 
all the information which, up to this time, I have been able 
to collect. The list of Abul Pazl is given in the Ain Akbari ; 
and Syad Ahmad’s list is printed in his Asar-us-Sunnddid. 
The Bikaner manuscript, which I obtained in 1846, agrees 
exactly in the order of the names, and very closely also in the 
spelling of them, with those of the printed lists just noticed ; 
but it unfortunately wants the lengths of reigns. The 
Gwalior manuscript, which I procured in 1849, agrees very 
closely with the others as to the lengths of reigns, but it 
differs slightly in the order of the names. As this list is 
appended to Kharg Kai’s History of Gwalior, which was 
composed in the reign of Shahjahan, it is valuable as an inde- 
pendent authority. The Kumaon and Garliwal manuscripts, 
which were obtained in 1859 and 1862, respectively, are 
imperfect in the same places, which shows that they must 
have been derived from a common source.* They are valu- 
able, however, for their agreement in omitting the last king 
of the other lists, named Prithvi Rai or Prithivi Pdla who 

# A third MS. , since obtained from Kedarnath, agrees very closely with these MSS. from 
Bhim Tal and Srinagar. A list published by Mangal Sen, in his History of Bulandshahr, 
agrees with that of Syad Ahmad, except in Xo. 8 , which he gives as Bhim Raj. 



would appear to be the same as the Chohan Prithivi Raja, 
commonly called Rai Pithora. In proof of this, I may adduce 
the fact that the promised number of nineteen Tamara Rajas 
is complete without this name. 


Abul Fazl, Syad Ahmad, 
Bikaner MS. 

Gwalior MSS. 

Kumaon, Garhwal 

Y. M. D. 


A. D. 


Ananga Pala . . 

Bilan De 



0 0 





Vasu Deva 




1 18 









3 28 





Prithivi Malla* 




6 19 





Jaya Deva 

Saha Deva 

Jadu P. 


7 28 





Nira, or Hira P. 


Nai P. 


4 9 





Udiraj, or Adereh 

Nara P. 

Jaya Deva P 


7 11 





Vijaya, or Vacha 


Chamra P 


2 13 





Biksha, or Anek 

Vacha Raja 

Bibasa P. 


3 16 





Riksha P. 

Vira P. 

Sukla P. 


6 5 





Sukh, or Nek P. 


Teja P. 


4 4 






Tillan De 



3 15 





Sallakshana P. . . 




10 10 





Jaya P. 

Osa P. 

Jaik P. 


4 3 





Kunwar P. 

Kumara P. 



9 IS 





Ananga, or Anek 

Ananga P. 

Anek P. 


6 IS 





Vijaya Sab, or Pal 

Teja P. 



1 6 





Mabatsal, Mahi P. 

Mahi P. 

Jyiln P. 


2 23 





Akr Pal, Akhsal 

Mukund P. 

Ane P. 


2 15 





Capture of 






Prithivi Raja . . 

Prithivi P. 



2 16 

* Or Pala. 

In the above list I have adopted as a starting point the 
exact amount of 792 years complete from the time of Yikra- 
maditya; or 792 — 56§ = 735 J years complete, or April A. I). 
73G. But it is obvious that the period elapsed is more likely 
to have been 792 years and some months over than the exact 
number of 792 years. Por instance, 792J years would place 
the death of Jaya Pala in A. D. 1021-11-29, that is, on the 
29th December A. D. 1021; but as the exact date of this 
event is not recorded by the Muhammadan Historians, I have 



thought it best to adhere to the date obtained from the com- 
plete period of 792 years. 

I urill now consider the claim which I have put forward 
on the part of the Tomara dynasty as Eajas of Kanoj. We 
know that, after the conquest of Kanoj by Mahmud early 
in A. D. 1022, the reigning family changed its residence to 
Bari, which was three days’ journey distant, on the east side 
of the Ganges. Mirkhond states that it was situated at the 
confluence of three rivers, namely, the Saro, the Kubin, and 
the Rahab .* According to Itashiduddin, the three rivers are 
the Rahet, the Gomati, and the Sarju. f The second of these 
rivers is undoubtedly the Gumti, which in Sanskrit is the 
Gomati. The first is either the Behta, or else the Rahria, 
which joins the Behta, and the third is the Sarain, a good 
sized stream which passes by Sitapur. Both the Behta and 
Sarain join the Gumti near Bari, which still exists as a good 
sized village. As Abu Bihan, who records this change of 
capital, was actually resident in India at the time when it 
took place, and as his work was written in A. D. 1031, we 
have the most complete authentication of Mirkhond’s date of 
this event. I presume that the change was made on account 
of the exposed situation of Kanoj, which had so lately been 
twice captured, first, in A. D. 1017 by Mahmud, and again in 
A. I). 1021 by the Baja of Kalanjar and his allies. I con- 
clude, therefore, K unicar Fdl, or Kumara Fal, who was the 
successor of Jaypal, reigned at Bari from A. D. 1021 
to 1051. 

About this very time also, as we learn from several 
inscriptions, the kingdom of Kanoj was conquered by 
Chandra I) era, the founder of the Rahtor dynasty of Kanoj . 
We possess no inscriptions of Chandra Deva himself; but 
there is one of his son, Madana Pala, which is dated in 
S. 1154 or A. D. 1097; and two of his grandson, Govinda 
Chandra, dated in S. 1177 and S. 1219 or A. D. 1120 and 
1162. We know also from other inscriptions that Govinda’s 
grandson ascended the throne between A. D. 1172 and 1177, 
or say in A. D. 1175. With these dates before us, we may 
safely fix Govinda’s accession in A. I). 1110 or 1115, and 

# Reinaud, “ Fragments Arabes,’’ &c.,— See pp. 99 — 100, note. 
+ Sir H. M. Elliot's Muhammadan Historians of India, p. 32. 



tliat of liis grandfather, Chandra Deva, the founder of the 
dynasty, in A. D. 1050. Now this is the very date, as we 
learn from other sources, at which Anang Pal II., the 
successor of Kumara Pala, established himself at Dilli, and 
built the fort of Ldlhot. On the iron pillar there is a short 
inscription in three lines, which appears to be a contemporary 
record of Anang Pal himself, as the characters are similar to 
those of the mason’s marks on the pillars of the colonnade 
of the Great Mosque, but are quite different from those of 
the two modern Nagari inscriptions, which are close beside 
it. The following are the words of this short record : 
“ Samvat Dihali 1109 Ang Pal balii ,” which may be trans- 
lated thus — “ In Samvat 1109, or A. I). 1052, Ang (or 
Anang ) Pal peopled Dilli.” This statement is borne out 
by the testimony of the Kumaon and Garhwal manuscripts, 
in which, opposite the name of Anek Pal, I find recorded 
that in Samvat 1117, or A. D. 1060, on the 10th of Mdrga- 
siras Sudi “ he built the Port of Dilli and called it “ Ldlhot” 
{Dilli Tea hot hardy a > Ldlhot hahaya”). This name was still 
in use during the reign of the first Musalman King, Kut- 
buddin Aibeg, as I find in the manuscripts of Muh-ji , the 
bard of the Khichi Chohans, that Kutbuddin, soon after his 
accession, issued seven orders to the Hindu Chiefs, of which 
the fifth is “ Ldlhot tai nagdro bdjto a” or “kettle-drums 
are not to be beaten in Lalkot.” This is a rule which is still 
observed, as none but the royal drums are beaten where the 
sovereign is present. Kutbuddin must, therefore, have taken 
up his residence in Lalkot, or the fortified city of Anang 
Pal.* . 

Now this date, recorded on the Iron Pillar, agrees so 
exactly with the period of the Rahtor conquest of Kanoj, 
that I think we may infer, with considerable probability, 
that the re-building of Dilli by Anang Pal was owing to the 
loss of the territory of Kanoj along with its new Capital of 
Bari in Oudh.f The accession of Anang Pal II., according 

* This is confirmed by the Muhammadan Historians, who state that the first two Kings, 
Kutb-ud-din Aibeg and Shamsuddin Altamsh resided in the Fort of Rai Pithora. See Ain 
Akbari by Gladwin, II., p. 86. 

+ The loss of power by the Tomar Princes of Delhi at this very time would seem to 
be confirmed by the asserted supremacy of Chandra Deva, the Rathor Raja of Kanoj, who 
is called the “protector of the sacred places at Kasi, Kusika, Xorthem Kosala, and Indras- 
thdua,” of winch the last is only another name for Indraprastha, or Delhi. — See Dr. Hall’s 
translation of Madana Pala’s inscription in the Bengal Asiatic Societv’s Journal, 1858, 
p. 224. 



to the genealogical lists, took place in A. D. 1051, and in 
1052 we find a record of him on the Iron Pillar at Dilli. 
If, then, we suppose that he commenced re-building at once, 
there is every probability in favour of the accuracy of the 
statement that he finished the Lalkot, or “ Red Port,” of 
Dilli in A. D. 1060. If the site of the Red Port may he 
fixed by the position of the An an g Tdl, as well as by that 
of the Iron Pillar which records the work, then the grand 
old fort which now surrounds the Kutb Minar is in all pro- 
bability the very Lalkot that was built by Anang Pal. But 
there are also three other points in favour of this identifi- 
cation, viz., 1st, that all the 27 temples destroyed by the 
Musalmans would appear to have stood inside the walls of 
Lalkot ; 2nd, that one of these 27 temples was almost cer- 
tainly built in the reign of Anang Pal ; and 3rd, that the 
Port of Rai Pithora is only an extension of the older fort, 
which now surrounds the Kutb Minar. Por these rea- 
sons I believe that this massive old fort, which is still in 
very good order in many places, is the identical Lalkot of 
Anang PM. The circuit of its walls, according to my sur- 
vey, is 2J miles. 

To this Anang Pal I attribute the construction of a very 
deep tank situated one-quarter of a mile to the north-west 
of the Kutb Minar, and which is still called Anang Tal. This 
tank is 169 feet long from north to south, and 152 feet broad 
from east to west, with a depth of 40 feet. It is now quite 
dry, but Syad Ahmad quotes a statement that, in the time of 
Sultan Ala-uddin Kliilji (A. D. 1296 — 1316), the water used 
for the mortar of the great unfinished Minar was brought 
from this tank. I refer also to this Anang Pal the founding 
of a village in the Balamgarh District, which is still called 
Anekpur. According to Syad Ahmad, the popular date of 
this work is S. 733, or A. D. 676 ; and he attributes it to 
Anang Pal 1st, the founder of the dynasty. But I think it 
more probable that the date refers to the Balabhi era of 
A. D. 319, which will place the building of the village in 
733 + 318 = A. D. 1051, in which year Anang Pal 2nd, the 
true founder of Dilli, succeeded to the throne. Another 
work of the same time is the Suraj Kund, a fine deep tank 
near Anekpur, the building of which is attributed to Suraj 
Pal, one of Anang Pal’s sons, in S. 743, which, referred to 
the Balabhi era, is eqivalcnt to A. D. 1061, a date which 






Anastafcised at the Surveyor General's 035 ee, Calcutta. 


* Plate . IXZXEL 



corresponds most exactly with those which we have already 

To Anam? Pal I attribute also the erection of at least 
one of the 27 temples which once stood around the Iron 
Pillar. Many of the pillars and beams of this temple have 
been made use of by the Musulmans in the construction of 
the south-east corner of the colonnade of the Great Mosque. 
Most of them are inscribed with mason’s marks, as will he 
noticed at length when I come to speak of the ruins in de- 
tail; and one of them hears the date of 1124, which, re- 
ferred to the era of Vikramaditya, is equivalent to A. D. 
10G7, in the very middle of the reign of Anang Pal II. 

According to tho traditions of the people, which I 
managed to pick up, the following were some of the numer- 
ous sons of Anang Pal : 

1st. — Tej Pal, or Tejran, who founded Tejora, be- 
tween Gurgaon and Alwar. In the Bikaner 
MS. this prince is called Vijaya Sal, or Pal. 

2nd. — Indrci Paj, who founded IndragarJi. 

3rd. — Pang Paj, who founded two places named 
TardgarJi, of which one is said to he near 

4 th. — Achal Paj, who founded Acheva, or Acltner, 
between Bharatpur and Agra. 

5 th. — Draupada, who is said to have lived at Asi, or 

Gill. — Sisu Pal, who founded Sirs a and Sisival, said 
to be same as Sir si Patan. 

If these traditions are of any value, they will enable 
us to judge of the extent of Anang Pal’s dominions by the 
names of the places which were founded or held by his sons. 
According to this test his dominions extended from Hansi 
on the north to Agra on the south, and on the western side 
they reached nearly as far as Alwar and Ajmer. To the 
eastward they were most probably hounded by the Ganges, 
beyond which the whole country was then held by the 
Xatehria Bajputs. I see nothing improbable in these tradi- 
tions of the Tomar possessions, and I am, therefore, willing 
to accept them as valuable additions to our present scanty 
knowledge of Hindu history. 




There are traditions of a similar kind regarding the sons 
of another Tomar Eaja, called Kama Pal : hut his name is 
not to he found in any of the lists. As, however, one of his 
sons was called Bach Deo , a name which is given in three of 
the lists as Vacha Baja, in a fourth list as Vijaya Baja, and 
in two others as Bibasa Pula, I think that we have some 
grounds for identifying Kama Pal with the father of Vacha 
Deva of the lists, more especially as the lists differ so much 
amongst themselves regarding the name of the father who is 
called both Nar Pal and Har Pal, cither of which may he de- 
rived from Kara. He is variously called Aclereh, JJdi-Bay, 
Indrajit, and Chamra Pal, of which the first three names are 
evidently only various readings of one original name. The 
sons of Kama Pal, according to the popular tradition, were 
the following : 

1st. — Bach Deo, who founded Baghor, near Karnol, 
and Bacliera or Baghera near Tboda Ajmer. 

2 ml. — Nag Deo, who founded Ndgor and Ncigda near 

3rd. — Kristin Bay, who founded Kishengarh, 10 miles 
to north north-east of Alwar, and Khds Ganj 
between Soron and Etah. 

4 th. — Nihdl Bay, who founded Ndrdyanpar, 10 miles 
to west of Alwar. 

5 th. — Somasi, who founded Ajabgarh, between Alwar 
and Jaypur. 

G Ih. — liar Pdl, who founded Harsora, 1G miles to 
north north-west of Alwar, and Harsoli , 23 
miles to north of Alwar. 

To this list I may add Bahddurgarh, 7 miles to north- 
east of Alwar, which is said to have been founded by Kama 
Pdl himself. 

The only other work of the Tomaras which has come to 
my knowledge is the village of Mahipdlpur , situated two miles 
to the east north-east of the Kuth Minar, with its great em- 
banked lake, three-quarters of a mile long and one-quarter 
broad. Mahi Pal, the grand-father of Jay Pal; is the 12th 



in tlie list, and reigned from A. D. 961 to 979.* The em- 
bankment was the work of Piruz Tughlak.f A second Mahi 
Pal reigned from A. D. 1105 to 1130. 

If these traditions are true, the dominion of the Tomaras 
must at one time have extended to the westward as far as 
Sirsa and Nagor. To the south-west there is the district of 
Todrvati, or Tomarcivati, between Alwar and Shekliavati ; 
and to the south-east there is the district of Todrghdr, or 
Tomarghdr, between Dholpur and Gwalior, both of which 
still preserve the name of this once powerful clan. The 
Tomara dynasty of Gwalior, which held that strong fort for 
nearly a century and a half, traced its descent from Anang 
Pal of Dilli, and the present Chief of Toarvati, as well as the 
Tomar Zemindars of Toarghar, still proudly lay claim to the 
same origin. 

Anang Pal II. was succeeded by three other Pajas 
of the Tomar family, of whom the last was a prince of 
the same name, Anang Pal III. During the reign of this 
last King, Dilli was captured by the Chohans under Visala 
Deva, hut the date of this event has not yet been satis- 
factorily ascertained. According to Abul Pazl it occurred 
in S. 818, which, referred to the Balabhi era, gives A. D. 
1166 ; hut as the date of Visala' s inscription on Piruz 
Shah’s Pillar is S. 1220 of Vikrama, or A. D. 1163, it is cer- 
tain that the capture of Dilli must have preceded the con- 
queror’s advance to the foot of the hills near Khizrabad, 
where this pillar was then standing. This position at the 
foot of the Himalaya Mountains is specially referred to in 
the record where Visala speaks of having made tributary all 
the regions between Himavat and Vindhya.i Muk-ji, the 
bard of the Khichi Chohans, gives the date as S. 821, which, 
compared with Abul Pazl’s date, is probably too early. The 
author of the Araisli-i-mahfil says that it was rather more 
than 1200 Samvat , that is, somewhat later than A. D. 1143. 

* Tlie Hindu pillars of white marble and red sandstone which are found in the gateway 
and colonnade of Sultan Ghari’s tomb, were most probably the spoils of a temple to 
Siva, built by Mahi Pal on the bank of the Mahipalpur Lake, which is only half a mile dis- 
tant from the tomb. I found a marble argha, or yoni receptacle of the lingam of Mahadeva 
in the pavement of the colonnade of the tomb between two marble pillars, 
f Journal of Archaeological Society of Delhi ; September 1S50, p. 32. 

3: The actual “ Capture of Delhi” by the Chohans is mentioned in Tod’s Bijoli in- 
scription dated in S. 1226, or A. D. 1169, — “Rajasthan,” II., p. 743. It must, therefore, 
have occurred some time earlier. 



The Kumaon and Garhwal manuscripts place it in S. 1191, 
or A. D. 1134 ; but as they also place the final conquest of 
the Muhammadans in S. 1231, or A. D. 1174, or just 17 
years too early, it seems probable that the capture of Dilli 
by the Chohans may also be ante-dated by about the same 
number of years. Admitting this view as probably correct, 
the capture of Dilli by the Chohans will be referred to 
A. D. 1151. Lastly, by the list which I have already given 
of the Tomar dynasty, the close of Anang Pal’s reign is 
placed in the latter half of A. D. 1151, or early in 1152, by 
accepting the longer reign of 21 years 9 months and 16 
days, which is found in the Gwalior manuscript.* 

By a comparison of all these dates with the period 
assigned to the Cliohan dynasty, it seems most probable that 
the true date of the capture of Dilli by the Chohans must 
have been about A. D. 1151. The period assigned to the 
Chohans varies from 40^ years to 41^. By deducting the 
former number from A. I). 1191, the date of Muazuddin 
Sam’s conquest, we obtain A. D. 1154 as the probable period 
of the capture of Dilli by Yisala Deva, when, according to 
the Kumaon and Garhwal manuscripts, Cliuwdn takht baitha , 
Dilli Raj kiya , — “ the Cliohan sat on the throne and estab- 
lished his kingdom in Dilli.” But although Yisala thus 
became the actual lord of Dilli, it is almost certain that 
Anang Pal was left in possession of his ancient kingdom as 
a tributary of the Cliohan, while Someswara, the son of 
Yisala, received Anang Pal’s daughter in marriage. The 
issue of this union, the famous Prithvi Raj, or Rai Rithorci, 
became the adopted son of the Tomar King, and was for- 
mally acknowledged as heir to the throne of Dilli. Accord- 
ing to the Prithvi-Rai- Charitra, this adoption took place in 
A. D. 1169, at which date Prithvi Raj must have been about 
16 years of age.f Now, as the bard Chand records that the 
adoption took place during the life-time of Anang Pal, this 
last of the Tomar Kings was still reigning in A. D. 1169. 
TYe may, therefore, safely fix the close of his reign, and of 
the Tomar dynasty, to the close of the same year, or the 

* This leaves 40 years for the reign of the Cholian dynasty in Delhi, wliich agrees with 
the period assigned to this race in the details of the Gwalior, Kumaon, and Garhwal MSS. 

t See Wilford in Asiatic Researches, IX., p. 171, quoting the Prithvi- Rai-Charitra, 
says 1170 ; but as Wilford used tho wrong equation for the Vikramaditya era, the true date 
must be A. D. 1169. 



beginning of. 1170. This will give a reign of 22 years to 
Pritlivi Raja, which is the very term assigned to him in all 
the manuscripts, at the end of the Tomar dynasty. It will 
also add about 18 years to the length of Anang Pal’s reign, 
during which time I suppose him to have been tributary to 
Visala Deva. 

The subject of the Chohan dynasty has been so much 
confused by the conflicting accounts given by Colonel Tod,* 
that I have found it impossible to make any satisfactory ar- 
rangement, either of the names of the Princes, or of the 
lengths of their reigns. So far as our information goes, the 
only Chohan Princes of Ajmer, who were at the same time 
actual Kings of Dilli, were Visala Deva and Pritlivi Raja. 
During the latter half of Anang Pal’s reign, I consider him to 
have been only the titular King of Dilli, and tributary to the 
paramount sovereign of Ajmer. On his death in A. D. 1170, 
the throne of Dilli would of course have fallen to Pritlivi 
Raja by his adoption as the successor of the Tomar Prince. 
On Visala’s death, which could not have occurred earlier than 
A. D. 1163, I infer that Someswara succeeded to the throne 
of Ajmer. When he was killed in battle seven years after- 
wards, or in A. D. 1170, the throne of Ajmer would have 
fallen to Pritlivi Kaja. But in the genealogical lists between 
Someswara and his son Pritlivi Raja we find the names of 
Chdhara Deva and Nag a Deva (or Jag a Deva ), and I can 
only account for their insertion by supposing that they were 
the tributary Rajas of Dilli under Prithvi Raja as lord 
paramount. This seems highly probable if we may place 
any dependence on the latter part of Colonel Tod’s genealo- 
gical list of the Chohans, in which Chdhara Deva is made 
the younger brother of Prithvi Raja. That Chdhara, or 
Chaliada Deva, was a person of some consequence, we know 
from his coins, which are less uncommon than those of 
Prithvi Raja himself. Perhaps Ndga Deva may have been 
another brother or a near relative.! 

Colonel Tod gives the substance of an inscription discover- 
ed at Bijoli, which is dated in S. 1226, or A. D. 1169, 

# Compare Tod’s Rajasthan, II., 451, with II., 743, and Royal Asiatic Society’s Transac- 
tions, I., p. 145. 

t In a fine MS. of Chaud’s Prithi Raj Raisa in my possession I find Prithvi Raja 
recorded as the son of Someswara, and the grandson of Visala Deva, and the 7tli in descent 
from Vira-Visala. This clears up most of our difficulties, as we now have a Visala Deva 
contemporary with the record of the Delhi Pillar, a name which is wanting in all the 
other lists. 



during the life-time of Someswara.* In this inscription it is 
stated that Someswara was originally called Prithvi Raja, 
hut “ having obtained the regal dignity through Someswara, 
he was thence called Someswar.” Now, if the date of this 
inscription has been rightly read, it seems most probable that 
the Hansi inscription, which mentions a Prithvi Raja in 
S. 1221, or A. 1). 1167, or just two years earlier, must refer to 
the father, who afterwards obtained the name of Someswara, 
and not to the son, who is popularly known as Pai Pithora . f 
This assignment of the Hansi inscription to the father is ren- 
dered certain by another fact recorded in it, which has 
escaped the notice of Colebrooke, Pell, and Tod, namely, 
that Kirana , or Kilhana of the Guhila or Graliilot race, 
was the maternal uncle of Prithvi Raja. Now, if there is 
one point undisputed in the history of Rai Pithora, it is that 
his mother was the daughter of the Tomar Raja Anang Pal. 
I conclude, therefore, that the Prithvi Raja, whose mother 
was a Graliilot, must have been Someswara, whose original 
name, before his accession to the throne, was also Prithvi Raja. 

With the above explanations, I now give all the lists of 
the Chohan dynasty which I have been able to collect, 

b e/ 3 

excepting those of Tod and Miik-j'i, the Khiclii bard, which 
disagree with the others in so many names that they would 
he of no use for comparison : 


Abul Fazl, Syad 

Gwalior, Kumaon, 

Length of 





Y. M. D. 

Bil Deo 

Visala Deva 

G 1 4 

Visala Deva ... 

Visala Deva, 

S. 1220 or 

Amara Gangu ... 

Ganeeva, or Amara 

A. D. 1163. 


5 2 3 

Keliar Pal 

Pahadi, or Pada 


S 1 5 


Samas, or Saveras 

7 4 2 

Someswara . . . 


S. A. D. 

J aliir 

V ehan De, or Bala 



4 4 1 


Nag Deo 

Jag Deo, or Ja- 

garmangur . . . 

3 15 

Pithora, or Prith- 

vi Raja 

Priihvi Raja ... 

6 11 

Prithvi Raja. 

40 2 21 

* Rajasthan, II., 743. 

t See Captain Fell in Asiatic Researches. XV., 413 ; and Tod in Royal Asiatic Society’s 
Transactions, 1., 154 and 461. 



On comparing these lists, I think that Bit Deo of Abul Pazl 
may he identified with Visala Devci of the inscription on 
Piruz Shah’s Pillar, and that Sinner or Sennas are only cor- 
ruptions of Someswara. The other names require no re- 

The reign of Prithvi Raj has been rendered memorable 
by three events which form separate parts of the rather 
voluminous work of the bard Chcnid , named Prithvi Bdj- 
Rdsa. The work is divided into several Khands, or books, 
which are generally known by the names of the subjects of 
which they treat ; thus, the Kanoj Khcnid gives the story of 
the forcible abduction of the not unwilling daughter of Java 
Chandra, the Rahtor Raja of Kanoj ; while the Malioha 
Khand relates the various fortunes of the successful war 
with Parmalik or Paramdrdi Deva, the Chandel Raja of 
Mahoba, and the last books are devoted to the great struggle 
between the Hindus and Musulmans, which ended in the 
final overthrow of Prithvi Raj, and the establishment of 
Kutb-ud-din Aibeg on the throne of Dilli as a dependant of 
the paramount Sovereign Muaz-ud-din Ghori. 

The date of the abduction of the Kanoj Princess may 
be assigned with great probability to the year A. D. 1175, 
as we know from inscriptions that Vijaya Chandra , the father 
of Jay a Chandra, was still living in 1172, and that Jaya 
Chandra had succeeded to the throne before 1177. This 
event cannot, therefore, be placed earlier than 1175 ; and as 
Prince Rcunsi, the issue of this union, was able to bear arms 
in the last fatal battle with the Musulmans in 1193, in which 
he was killed, it is not possible to place the date of the ab- 
duction later than 1175. 

The date of the great war with the Chandel Prince of 
Mahoba is given in the Mahoba Khand of Chand’s poem as 
Samvat 1211, or A. D. 1181. My copy of this portion of 
the poem was obtained in Mahoba itself, and I have every 
reason to believe in the correctness of the year named, as it 
is borne out by two existing inscriptions of Paramdrddi Deva, 
the Chandel Raja, which are dated, respectivelv, in Samvat 
1221 or A. D. 1167, and S. 1211 or A. D. 1181. The date 
of the final conquest of Dilli by the Musulmans is variously 
given by the different authorities. Thus Ibn Batuta has 
A. II. 581, or A. D. 1188; Abul Pazl has A. H. 588, 



or A. D. 1192 ; and Perishta lias A. H. 589, while Syad 
Alnnad has adopted A. H. 587, founded on his reading 
of the written date on the Eastern Gateway of the Kutb 
Masjid. He reads the unit of this date as Saba, or 7, where- 
as I make it tisa, or 9. The difference arises from the va- 
rious reading of two easily mistakeahle words sabd and tisd. 
My attention was particularly drawn to this date by Mr. 
Thomas’s note on Syad Ahmad’s date, which, as he says, 
“anticipates the epoch ordinarily assigned to the Muhamma- 
dan conquest of India by two years.” I examined this por- 
tion of the inscription minutely with a telescope, and I found 
two dots or points, which are omitted in Syad Ahmad’s litho- 
graphed copy of the inscription, quite distinct, one over the 
other, between the words Sanh and iva, and immediately over 
the unit of the date, which is placed below those words. If 
these dots belong to the unit of the date, we must accept the 
reading of tisa and adopt 589 A, H. or A. D. 1193 for the 
capture of Delhi.* 

The only work which is attributed to Prithvi Pmja is 
the extensive fort to the north and east of Anang Pal’s 
Lalkot, which is still called Kilah Rai Rithora, or “ Pitlio- 
ra’s Port.” Prom the north-west angle of Lfilkot the lines of 
llai Pithora’s walls can still be distinctly traced, running 
towards the north for about half a mile. Prom this point 
they turn to the south of east for one and a half miles, then 
to the south for one mile, and lastly, to the west and north- 
west for three-quarters of a mile, where they join the south- 
west angle of Lalkot, which being situated on higher ground 
forms a lofty citadel that completely commands the Port of 
Ptai Pathora. The entire circuit of the walls of the two 
forts is 4 miles and 3 furlongs, or rather more than half the 
size of the modern city of Shalijahanabad.f 

Up to this point I have endeavoured to trace the outline 
of the history of Hindu Dilli, partly from existing monu- 
ments, partly from inscriptions, and partly from other records, 

* This important date had so attracted the attention of Mr. Thomas, that he erected a 
scaffolding for the purpose of more carefully studying the original, and he has since had the 
doubtful passage examined by a most competent authority. As both agree that the true 
reading is saba and not tisa, I adopt the reading of A. H. 587, or A. D. as the true date of 
the first capture of Dellii by the Muhammadans. — See Mr. Thomas’s Chronicles of the Pathan 
Kings of Delhi, p. 23, note, for full notice of this date, which he supports by the authority 
of Hasan Nizami and Nimhaj-us-Siraj. 

f See Plates XXV. and XXXVI. for the relative positions and plans of Ldllcot and Rai 
Pithora’s Fort. 



both printed and manuscript. The history of Muhammadan 
Dihli, or Delhi , according to our corrupt spelling, will be 
found in ample detail in Ferislita and other Moslem authors. 
I will now, therefore, coniine my remarks to a description of 
the many noble remains of by-gone days, which, either by 
their grand size, their solid strength, or their majestic beauty, 
still proudly testify that this vast waste of ruins was once 
Imperial Delhi, the Capital of all India. 


The most ancient monuments of Delhi are the two Stone 
Pillars bearing the edicts of Asoka, both of which were 
brought to the Capital by Firuz Shah Tughlak, about 
A. H. 757, or A. D. 1356. The account of the removal of 
these pillars from their original sites is given in detail by 
Shams-i-Siraj, who was most likely an eye-witness of the re- 
erection in Firuzabad, as he records that he was 12 years of 
age at the time when they were set up.* This circumstantial 
account of a contemporary writer at once disposes of Colonel 
Tod’s storyf that Firuz Shah’s Pillar was originally standing 
££ at Nigambod, a place of pilgrimage on the Jumna, a few 
miles below Delhi, whence it must have been removed to its 
present singular position.” Nigambod still exists as a place 
of pilgrimage, being a ghat immediately outside the northern 
wall of the city of Shahjahanabad. It is, therefore, above the 
city of Delhi, instead of being a few miles below it, as de- 
scribed by Colonel Tod. 

Firuz Shall s Pillar, according to Shams-i-Siraj, was 
brought from a place which is variously called Topun, Toper a, 
Toparsulc, Toliera, Tawera , and Naliera.% The place is de- 
scribed as being “on the bank of the Jumna, in the district 
of Salora, not far from Khizrabad, which is at the foot of the 
mountains, 90 koss from Delhi.” The distance from Delhi 
and the position at the foot of the mountains point out the 
present Khizrabad on the Jumna, just below the spot where 
the river issues from the lower range of Hills, as the place 
indicated by Shams-i-Siraj. Salora is, perhaps, Sidhora, a 

* Journal of Archaeological Society of Delhi, I., 74. 
f Rajasthan, II., 452. 

t Journal of the Archaeological Society of Delhi, I., pp. 29 and 75. See also Sir H. M. 
Elliot’s Muhammadan Historians, by Dowson, III., p. 350, where the name of the village 
is given as Tobra. 



large place only a few miles to the west of Khizrabad. From 
the village where it originally stood, the pillar was conveyed 
by land on a truck to Khizrabad, from whence it was floated 
down the Jumna to Firuzabad, or new Delhi. From the 
above description of the original site of this pillar, I conclude 
that the village from whence it was brought was, perhaps, the 
present JPaota, on the western bank of the Jumna, and 12 
miles in a direct line to the north-east of Khizrabad. Now, 
in this immediate neighbourhood on the western bank 
of the Jumna, and at a distance of 66 miles from Tkanesar, 
Hwen Thsang places the ancient Capital of Srughna , which 
was even then (A. D. 630 — 640) in ruins, although the 
foundations were still solid. The Chinese pilgrim describes 
Srughna as possessing a large Vihdr, and a grand stupa of 
Asoka’s time containing relics of Buddha, besides many 
other stupas of Sdriputra Maudga lyayana, and other holy 
Buddhists. The village of Topar, which was the original site 
of Firuz Shah’s Pillar, was certainly within the limits of the 
ancient kingdom of Srughna, and I think it probable that 
in the work Snk, which is appended to one of the various 
readings of the name of the village of Topar, we still have 
a fair approximation to Sughan , the popular form of the 
Sanskrit Srughna. 

When the pillar was removed from its original site, a 
large square stone was found beneath it, which was also 
transported to Delhi.* This stone was again placed beneath 
the pillar in its new situation on the top of the three- storied 
building called Firuz Shah’s l^otila, where it may now be 
seen, as a gallery has been pierced through the solid masonry 
immediately beneath the base of the pillar. According to 
Shams-i-Siraj, the whole length of the shaft was 32 gaz, of 
which 8 gaz were sunk in the building. As the pillar at 
present stands, I found the total height to be 42 feet 7 inches, 
of which the sunken portion is only 4 feet 1 inch. But the 
lower portion of the exposed shaft to a height of 5 feet is 
still rough, and I have little doubt, therefore, that the whole 
of the rough portion, 9 feet in length, must have been sunk 
in the ground on its original site. But according to Shams- 
i-Siraj, even more than this, or one-fourth of its whole length, 
that is, 10 feet 8 inches, was sunk in the masonry of Firuz 

* A similar large square stone wap found under the Pahladpur Pillar, when it was 
removed to the grounds of Queen’s College at Bauttras. 



Shah’s Kotila. This I believe was actually the case, for on 
the west side of the column there still remain in situ the 
stumps of two short octagonal granite pillars that would ap- 
pear to have formed part of a cloister or open gallery around 
a fourth story, which cannot have been less than 6-| or 7 feet 
in height. I conclude, therefore, that the statement of 
Shams-i-Siraj is quite correct. 

When the pillar was at last fixed, the “top was orna- 
mented with black and white stone-work surmounted by a 
gilt pinnacle, from which no doubt it received its name of 
Mindr Zarin, or ‘ Golden Pillar.’ This gilt pinnacle was still 
in its place in A. D. 1611, when W r illiam Pinch entered 
Delhi, as he describes the Stone Pillar of Bimsa, which, after 
passing through three several stories, rising 24 feet above 
them all, having on the top a globe surmounted by a crescent.” 
The 24 feet of this account are probably the same as the 
24 gaz of the other, the gaz being only a fraction less than 
16 inches. 

The great inscription of Asoka, which is engraved on 
this pillar, attracted the notice and stimulated the curiosity 
of Piruz Shah, who assembled a number of learned Brahmans 
to decypher it, hut without success. “ Some, however, inter- 
preted the writing to signify that no one would ever succeed 
in removing the pillar from the spot on which it originally 
stood, until a King should be horn, hy name Piruz Shah.” 
This sort of unblushing mendacity is still hut too common 
in India. Almost everywhere I have found Brahmans ready 
to tell me the subject of Ion ^inscriptions, of which they could 
not possibly read a single letter. Equally untrue, although 
not so shameless, are the accounts of this inscription given 
by Tom Coryat. In a letter to L. Whittaker,* he says — “I 
have been in a city of this country called Delee, where 
Alexander the Great joined battle with Porus, King of India, 
and defeated him, and where, in memory of his victory, he 
caused to be erected a brazen pillar, which remains there to 
this day.” The same story, with additions, was repeated to 
the unsuspecting Chaplain Edward Terry, f who says — “ I was 
told by Tom Coryat (who took special note of this place) 
that he, being in the city of Delee, observed a very great 

* Kerr’s Voyages and Travels, IX., 423. 
+ Journal, p. 81. 



pillar of marble, with a Greek inscription upon it, which 
time hath almost quite worn out, erected (as he supposed) 
there and then by Great Alexander to preserve the memory 
of that famous victory.” This erroneous opinion of Coryat 
was adopted by most of the early English travellers, as 
noticed by Purchas,* who states that these inscriptions are in 
Greek and Hebrew, and that some affirm the pillar was 
erected by Alexander the Great. Coryat’s mistake about the 
Greek most probably arose from an actual inspection of the 
inscription, in which he would naturally have recognized the 
Old Pali th, chh, t, k, g, r , b, j, and e , as Greek letters. The 
similarity struck James Prinsep also. A noteable exception 
to the other English travellers is William Einch, who simply 
states that “ it has inscriptions.” 

The mistakes that have been made about this column are, 
however, not confined to its inscriptions, as we have seen 
above, were Coryat calls it a t; brazen pillar.” Strange to 
say a similar mistake has been made by the generally ac- 
curate Bishop Heber, who calls it “ a high black pillar of 
cast-metal and, again, in describing the iron pillar, he 
calls it a metal pillar like that in Eiruz Shah’s Castle, t 
Again Colonel Tod has identified this pillar with the 
Nmambod column alluded to bv the bard Chand “ as telling the 
fame of the Chohan.” It is quite possible that some other 
pillar may once have stood at IS igambod ; but as the golden 
column of Eiruz really does “ tell the fame of the Chohan,” 
and as its inscriptions were recorded only thirty years prior 
to Chand’s death, it seems mo| probable that liis allusion 
must be to this particular pillar. The name of Xigambod 
may, perhaps, be a corruption of the real name of the place 
where the column then stood, or an ignorant interpolation in 
the text of a date later than Eiruz Shah. 

The “ Golden Pillar” is a single shaft of pale pinkish 
sand-stone, 42 feet 7 inches in length, of which the upper 
portion, 35 feet in length, has received a very high polish, 
while the remainder is left quite rough. Its upper diameter 
is 25'3 inches, and its lower diameter 38'8 inches, the diminu- 
tion being *39 inch per foot. Its weight is rather more than 
27 tons. In its dimensions it is more like the Allahabad 

* Kerr, VIII., 293, note 6. 
f Journal, II., pp. 291—307. 



pillar than any other, £>ut it tapers much more rapidly 
towards the top, and is, therefore, less graceful in its outline. 

There are two principal inscriptions on Firuz Shah’s 
pillar, besides several minor records of pilgrims and travellers 
from the first centuries of the Christian era down to the 
present time. The oldest inscriptions for which the pillar 
was originally erected comprise the well known edicts of 
Asoka, which were promulgated in the middle of the third 
century B. C. in the ancient Pali, or spoken language of 
the day. The alphabetical characters, which are of the oldest 
form that has yet been found in India, are most clearly and 
beautifully cut, and there are only a few letters of the whole 
record lest by the peeling off of the surface of the stone. 
The inscription ends with a short sentence, in which King 
Asoka directs the setting up these monoliths in different 
parts of India as follows :* “ Let this religious edict be 

engraved on stone pillars ( sila thambha) and stone tablets 
( sila phalaka) that it may endure for ever.” In this 
amended passage we have a distinct allusion to the rock 
inscriptions, as well as to the pillar inscriptions. As this 
is the longest and most important of all the pillar inscrip- 
tions of Asoka, I made a careful impression of the whole 
for comparison with James Prinsep’s published text. The 
record consists of four distinct inscriptions on the four 
sides of the column facing the cardinal points, and of one 
long inscription immediately below, which goes completely 
round the pillar. I may mention that the word Ajakdndni, 
at the end of the 7th lir# south face, was not omitted 
“ accidentally,” as James Prinsep supposed, by the original 
engraver, but has been lost by the peeling away of the 
stone for about 4 inches. The vowel i attached to the 
final letter is still quite distinct. The penultimate word 
on the eastern face is not agnim, as doubtfully read by 
Prinsep, but abhyum, and, as he rightly conjectured, it is 
the same word that begins the 19th line. The last word in 
the 11th line, which puzzled Prinsep, is not atikatci, but 
atikantam , the same as occurs near the beginning of the 15th 
line. The few corrections which I have noticed here show 
the accuracy of Bournouf’s opinion, that a new collation of 

* See James Prinsep in Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1837, p. 609. He reads sila~ 
dJuUaMni, instead of phalakdni, which is quite distinct on the pillar. 



tlie pillar inscriptions would be of the greatest value. I am 
happy to say that I have now made new copies of the in- 
scriptions on the pillars at Delhi, Arardj, and Navandgarh , for 
collation by competent scholars. 

The last 10 lines of the eastern face, as well as the whole 
of the continuous inscription round the shaft, are peculiar to 
the Delhi pillar. There is a marked difference also in the 
appearance of this part of the inscription. The characters are 
all thinner and less boldly cut ; the vowel marks are general- 
ly sloping instead of being horizontal or perpendicular, and 
the letters/, t, s and h are differently formed from those of 
the preceding part of the inscription. These new forms are 
exactly the same as those of the rock inscription near Khalsi, 
on the Jumma, which is only a few miles above Daota, the 
probable site from whence the pillar was brought by Piruz 

The second inscription is that which records the vic- 
tories of the Cliohan Prince Visala Deva, whose power 
extended “ from Himadri to Vindhya.” This record of the 
fame of the Cliohan consists of two separate portions, the 
shorter one being placed immediately above Asoka’s edicts, 
and the longer one immediately below them. But as both 
are dated in the same year, viz., S. 1220, or A. D. 1163, and 
refer to the same Prince, they may be considered as forming 
only one inscription. The upper portion, which is placed 
very high, is engraved in much larger characters than the 
lower one. A translation of t%is inscription was published 
by Colebrooke, and his rendering of the text has been verified 
by H. H. Wilson from a copy made by Mr. Thomas.* The 
reading of Sri Sallakshana proposed by Mr. Thomas is un- 
doubtedly correct, instead of Sri Mad Lakshana, as formerly 
read. I would suggest also that the rendering of Chaliumana 
tilaka, as “most eminent of the tribe which sprang from 
the arms” (of Brahma), seems to me much less forcible than 
the simple translation of “ Chief of the Chdhumdns” or 
Cliohan tribe. I believe also that there is an error in referring 
the orgin of the Chohans to Brahma, as Muk-ji , the Bard 
of the Kliichi Chohans, distinctly derives them from the 
Anal kund, or fount of fire on Mount Abu, an origin which 

* Colebrooke in Asiatic Researches, III., 130; and Thomas’s Prinsep’s Essays, I., 335. 



corresponds with that assigned to them by Colonel Tod. It 
is Chdluk Bao, the founder of the Chdlukyci , or Soldnkhi 
tribe, that is fabled to have sprung from Brahma. 

The minor inscriptions on Piruz Shah’s Pillar are of 
little interest or importance. They are, however, of different 
ages, and the more ancient records must have been inscribed 
while the pillar yet stood on its original site, under the hills 
to the north of Klrizrabad. One of the oldest is the name 
of Sri Bhadra Mitra , or Subhadramitra, in characters of the 
Gupta era. This is written in very small letters, as are also 
two others of the same age. In larger letters of a somewhat 
later date, there are several short inscriptions, of which the 
most legible is Surya Vishnu Subarnakakana. A second 
begins with Bara Singha Subarnakakana, the remainder 
being illegible, with exception of the word Kuvnara. A third 
reads Charma Subana, the second letter being somewhat 
doubtful. This record is extended in another place to Charma 
Subanakshdra. Of a much later date is the name of the 
Saiva mendicant Siddh Bhayankarnath Jogi, followed by a 
trisul. The name of this wandering mendicant is also re- 
corded in the very same characters, hut simply as “ Bhayan- 
kar Bath,” in one of the Bardbar caves in Bihar.* On the 
northern face there are two still later inscriptions in modern 
Nagari, both of which hear the same date of "Wednesday, 
13th, waning moon of Chaitra, in Samvat 1581, or A. I). 
1521. The longer inscription contains the name of Suritan 
Ibrahim, or Sultan Ibrahim Lodi, who reigned from A. D. 
1517 to 1525. » 

The second of Asoka’s Delhi Pillars is now lying in five 
pieces near Hindu Bao’s house on the top of the hill to 
the north-west of Shahjahanabad. The whole length of these 
pieces was 32f feet, but the upper end of the middle piece, 
which was inscribed with Asoka’s edicts, was sawn off some 
years ago, and sent to Calcutta, where it may now he seen 
in the Asiatic Society's Museum. f The portion of the shaft 
that was below the inscription still measures 18 feet, and that 
which was above it, 12 feet. As the end of the shaft is still 
rough, it seems probable that the polished portion could not 

* See p. 22, and Plate XX. 

t This has now been returned to Delhi, and the pillar has been restored : but I think 
that it ought rather to hare been set up at Alirat. from whence it was originally brought 
by Firuz Shah. 



have been more than 32 feet in height, which is somewhat 
less than that of the other known pillars of Asoka. Indeed, 
this pillar is described by Shams-i-Siraj as being smaller than 
the other, a description which can apply only to its height, 
as its diameter is somewhat greater. From its broken state 
it is not easy to obtain correct measurements of its thickness. 
At the point where the inscribed piece was sawn off, the 
diameter is 33 '41 inches ; and my measurements make the 
upper diameter 29^ inches, and lower diameter of the 
smoothed portion 35‘82 inches. The rough thick end is 
about 38 inches in diameter. These measurements make 
the diminution of the pillar just one-fifth of an inch per 

According to Shams-i-Siraj this column was brought 
from Mirat by Firuz Shah, and erected near its present posi- 
tion in the Kushak Shikar, or “ hunting palace.” The posi- 
tion of the palace has already been determined by the re- 
searches of Messrs. Cope and Lewis ;* hut the following 
statements of William Finch will place this identification of 
site beyond all dispute. In A. D. 1611 he describes the city 
(that is, of Shir Shah) as being 2 koss, or 2| miles, iu 
length from gate to gate, and about 2 koss from thence he 
places “ the ruins of a hunting seat or mole (Mahal) built 
by Sultan JBemsa, a great Indian Sovereign.”! This descrip- 
tion agrees exactly with the position of the broken pillar, 
which is about 2f miles to the north-west of the Lai Dur- 
wdza , or north gate of the old city of Shir Shah, which is 
itself about 2% miles distant from' the south gate, to the west- 
ward of Dinpanah, or Parana Kilah. 

According to the popular belief, this pillar was thrown 
down by an accidental explosion of a powder magazine in 
the time of Farokhsir, who reigned from A. D. 1713 to 1719. 
This tradition is rendered almost certain by the statements 
of Padre Tieffentlialer, who resided in India between A. I). 
1743 and 17S6. He saw the pillar lying just as it is now in 
five pieces ; but he was informed that it was standing erect not 
long before, and that it was thrown down by an explosion of 

* Journal of Archaeological Society of Delhi, 
f Kerr’s Voyages and Travels, VIII., 292. 



The inscriptions on this pillar are very imperfect, owing 
to the mutilated and worn surface of the stone. Such por- 
tions as remain have been carefully examined by James 
Prinsep, who found them to be “ so precisely the duplicates” 
of the other inscription that he did not think “ it worth while 
to make them the subject of a separate note.”* The remaining 
portions, which correspond with parts of the inscriptions 
on the north, south, and west faces of the other pillar, have 
been lithographed by Prinsep in Plate XLII., Yol. VI. of 
his Journal. 

The Iron Pillar of Delhi, which is the next work in 
point of antiquity, is one of the most curious monuments in 
India. Many large works in metal were no doubt made in 
ancient times, such, for instance, as the celebrated Colussus 
of Rhodes, and the gigantic statues of the Buddhists, which 
are described by Hwen Thsang. But all of these were of 
brass or copper, all of them were hollow, and they were all 
built up of pieces rivetted together, whereas the Delhi Pillar 
is a solid shaft of wrought iron upwards of 16 inches in dia- 
meter, and upwards of 40 feet in length. It is true that there 
are flaws in many parts, which shew that the welding is imper- 
fect ; but when we consider the extreme difficulty of manu- 
facturing a pillar of such vast dimensions, our wonder will 
not be diminished by knowing that the welding of the bar is 
defective. The total height of the pillar above ground is 22 
feet, but the smooth shaft is only 15 feet, the capital being 3^ 
feet, and the rough part of the shaft below also 3-| feet. 
But its depth under ground is asserted to be considerably 
greater than its height above ground, as a recent excavation 
is said to have been carried down to 26 feet without reaching 
the foundation on which the pillar rests. f The whole length 
of the Iron Pillar is, therefore, upwards of 48 feet, but how 
much more is not known, although it must be considerable, 
as the pillar is said not to have been loosened by the excava- 
tion. I think, therefore, it is highly probable that the whole 
length is not less than 60 feet. The lower diameter of the 
shaft is 164 inches, and the upper diameter is 12‘05 inches, 
the diminution being ’29 of an inch per foot. The pillar 
contains about 80 cubic feet of metal, and weighs upwards 
of 17 tons. 

* Journal of Asiatic Society, Bengal, VI., 794. 

t Mr. Cooper told me 26 feet, but the man in charge assured me that the actual depth 
reached was 35 feet. 




When I wrote this report in 1863 I described the pillar 
as formed of “ mixed metal.” This I did on the authority of 
the late Mr. Tred. Cooper, Deputy Commissioner of Delhi. 
He was then preparing a hand-hook for Delhi, in which I 
find the pillar is thus described — “ The celebrated Loha-ka-ldt 
or iron pillar, which is, however, a misnomer, for it is a 
compound metal resembling bronze.” On thinking over 
this question some months afterwards it struck me that 
a bronze pillar would never have escaped the rapacity of the 
Muhammadan conquerors. I, therefore, obtained a small 
hit from the rough lower part of the pillar, which I sub- 
mitted to Dr. Murray Thomson for analysis, who informed 
me that the metal was “ pure malleable iron of 7'66 specific 
gravity.” I have since referred to various hooks to see what 
account was given of this pillar by different tourists ; and I 
find that the opinion that the pillar was made of mixed 
metal or bronze has certainly prevailed since the beginning 
of the century.* But it is most probably of even older date, 
as the notorious Tom Coryat speaks of the brazen pillar 
which he had seen at “ Delee.” There can be little doubt 
that this was also the Native belief in former times, as it 
certainly is at present ; for I presume that the early English 
residents at Delhi adopted what they were told by the people 
without either question or examination, although the one con- 
tinued to call it the* Lohi-ki-lat, and the other the “ Iron 
Pillar.” The belief, perhaps, arose from the curious yellow 
appearance of the upper part of the shaft, which I myself 
observed, and which induced me to accept Mr. Cooper’s 

The Iron Pillar records its own history in a deeply cut 
Sanskrit inscription of six lines on its western face. The 
inscription has been translated by James Prinsep, who 
remarks that “ the pillar is called the arm of fame” ( Kirtti 
bhuja) “ of Baja Dlidva, and the letters cut upon it are called 
the typical cuts inflicted on his enemies by his sword, writing 
his immortal fame.”t It is stated that he subdued a people 

* In 1805 tile pillar was seen by a lady, “ Tour in the Upper Provinces by A. D.,” p. 105, 
who describes it as “the wonderful brazen pillar.” Bishop Heber, “Travels, II., 291, 307,’’ 
calls it a “ metal pillar” or a “black pillar of cast metal.” In 1834 Miss Emma Roberts, 
“ Views in India, I., 40,” speaks of it as “ a pillar of mixed metal and in 1844 Colonel 
Sleeman, “ Rambles, II., 256,” writes that the small pillar is of bronze, or a metal which 
resembles bronze, and is softer than brass. 

t Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, VII., p. 630. 



on the Sindhu, named Vahlikas, and “ obtained with his own 
arm an undivided sovereignty on the earth for a long period.’’ 
The above is the whole of the meagre information that can 
be gathered from this inscription, save the hare fact that the 
Raja was a worshipper of Vishnu. The date of the inscrip- 
tion is referred by James Prinsep to the third or fourth 
century after Christ ; but Mr. Thomas considers that this is 
“ too high an antiquity for the style of writing employed on 
the monument.” I agree, however, with Prinsep, as the 
characters appear to me to be exactly the same as those of 
the Gupta inscriptions. I have already suggested the year 
A. D. 319, which is the initial point of the Palabhi or Gupta 
era, as an approximate date, as I think it not improbable 
that the Raja may have assisted in the downfall of the 
powerful Gupta dynasty. I read his name preferably as 
Bhdva, the letter bli having got closed by the accidental slip 
of the punching chisel. The letter is different from every 
other dli in the inscription. 

According to universal tradition, the Iron Pillar was 
erected by Bilan Deo, or Anang Pal, the founder of the 
Tomara dynasty, who was assured by a learned Brahman 
that, as the foot of the pillar had been driven so deep 
into the ground that it rested on the head of Vasuki, 
King of the Serpents, who supports the earth ; it was now 
immoveable, and that dominion would remain in his family 
as long as the pillar stood. But the Raja, doubting the 
truth of the Brahman’s statement, ordered the pillar to 
be dug up, when the foot of it was found wet with 
the blood of the serpent king, whose head it had pierced. 
Regretting his unbelief, the Iron Pillar was again raised ; 
but, owing to the king’s former incredulity, every plan now 
failed in fixing it firmly, and, in spite of ail his efforts, it still 

( remained loose [dhUa) in the ground, and this is said to have 
been the origin of the name of the ancient city of Bliili. 

This tradition has been variously reported by different 
authorities, but the main points are the same in all. Colonel 
Tod states that the Iron Pillar is said to be resting on the head 
of the Sahes Nag, who is the same as Vasuki, the Serpent King. 
A lady traveller, who visited Delhi between 1801 and 1814, 
heard the tradition in a somewhat different way.* A Brahman 
told the king that if he could place the seat of his govern- 
ment on the head of the snake that supports the world, 

* “ Tour in the Upper Provinces,” by A. D., p. 166. 


liis kingdom would last for ever. Tlie Iron Pillar was 
accordingly driven into the ground on its present site, under 
the superintendence of the Brahman, who announced 
that the lucky spot had been found. On hearing this, a 
courtier, jealous of the Brahman’s influence, declared that 
the pillar was not placed over the serpent’s head, but that he 
could point out the true place, which he had seen in a dream. 
The pillar was accordingly taken up by the Baja’s order, 
and, agreeably to the Brahman’s prediction, the foot of it 
was found wet with the blood of the serpent’s head. This tra- 
dition is also imperfectly related in Purchas’s Pilgrims, on the 
authority of English travellers who visited India during the 
reigns of Jahangir and Shahjahan. Purchas states that the 
Rase (Baja) who founded Delhi, “ by advice of his magicians, 
tried the ground by driving an iron stake, which came up 
bloody, having wounded a snake. This the Ronde (Pande or 
Pandit), or magician, said was a fortunate sign.”* In all 
these different versions of the erection of the Iron Pillar, the 
main points of the story are the same, and the popular belief 
in this tradition is confirmed by the well known verse — 

“ KtlU to dMlli bliai , 

“ Tomar bhaya mat hin .” 

“ The pillar has become loose, 

“ The Tomar’s wish will not he fulfilled.”! 

This tradition is related in a more poetical form by 
Kharg Bai, who wrote in the reign of Shahjahan. Accord- 
ing to him, the Tomar Prince was provided by the sage Vyds 
with a golden nail, or spike, 25 fingers in length, which he 
was told to drive into the ground. At a lucky moment, on 
the 13th day of the waning moon of Vaisdkh, in the Samvat 
year 792, or A. D. 736, when the moon was in the mansion 
of Abhijit , the spike was driven into the ground by the Baja. 
Then said Vyas to the King — 

“ Turn se raj kadi jaega nahi, 

“ Yih khunti Vasag ki mdtlie gadlii haiR 
“ Ke’er will thy kingdom be besped, 

“ The spike hath pierced Vasuki’s head.” 

* Kerr's Voyages and Travels, VIII., 292, note. 

t My assistant, Mr. J. D. Beglar, has pointed out to me that tomar is a common con- 
traction for tumhdra, “ your.” I believe, therefore, that a pun is intended, and that the 
second line may be translated — “Your wish will not be fulfilled.” 



Vyas liad no sooner departed, than the incredulous Raja 
boldly declared bis disbelief in the sage’s announcement, 
when immediately 

“Bilan Be khunti uJehdrh deJchi, 

“ Tab loliu se chuchdti nikali.” 

“ He saw the spike thrown on the ground, 

“ Blood-dropping from the serpent’s wound.” 

The sage was recalled by the horrified king, who was directed 
to drive the stake into the ground a second time. Again be 
struck, but the spike penetrated only nineteen fingers, and 
remained loose in the ground. Once more then the sage 
addressed the Raja prophetically, — “Like the spike ( Icilli ) 
which you have driven, your dynasty will be unstable (dllli), 
and after ‘ nineteen’ generations it will be supplanted by the 
Chohans, and they by the Turkans.” Bilan Be then became 
King of Billi, and with bis descendants held the throne for 
nineteen generations, according to the number of fingers’ 
lengths which the spike bad been driven into the ground. 

What was the origin of this tradition, and at what time 
it first obtained currency, may never, perhaps, be known ; but 
I think we are justified in hazarding a guess that the long 
reign of the Tomar dynasty must first have led to an opinion 
of its durability which would then have been naturally 
compared with the evident stability with which the Iron 
Pillar was fixed in the ground. We have an exactly paral- 
lel case in the well known saying about Rome and the 
Coliseum — “ Quamdiu stabit Colyseus, stabit et Boma quando 
cadit Colyseus cadit Boma which the verse of Byron has 
rendered famous. — 

“ While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand, 
“When falls the Coliseum, home shall fall.” 

This, indeed, is the oldest form of the Indian tradition that 
I have been able to trace. When the Muhammadan con- 
queror first took possession of Belbi, be was informed that 
the inscription on the Iron Pillar declared that the Hindu 
rule would last as long as the pillar remained standing ; 
on bearing which, to show bis contempt of the prophecy, the 
pround victor allowed the pillar to stand. This same story 
must have been told to Bishop Heber, but be has jumbled it 



up with liis account of Firuz Shah’s Pillar.* That the story 
wdiicli he heard must have belonged to the Iron Pillar is 
rendered certain hy his referring it to the period of “the 
conquest of the country by the Musulmans.” About the 
same time also a similar story was heard by Major Archer,! 
who records that, “ as long as the pillar stood, so long would 
Hindustan flourish.” At a later date, a similar story was 
repeated to Mrs. Colin Mackenzie,! who says that the Iron 
Pillar bears a Sanskrit inscription, “the purport of which 
is that, as long as this pillar stands, the Raj or kingdom has 
not finally departed from the Hindus.” Lastly, Syad Ahmad 
relates that the pillar was driven into the head of Vasuki , 
King of the Snakes, to make his empire lasting. 

If I am right in ascribing the origin of this tradition to 
a late period in the history of the Tomars, when the long 
duration of their rule had induced people to compare its 
stability with that of the Iron Pillar, I think that the saying 
may be referred with considerable probability to the pros- 
perous reign of Anang Pal II., whose name is inscribed on 
the shaft with the date of Samvat 1109 or A. L). 1052. 

The account given above was written in 1863, shortly 
after which I found the original version of the story in the 
3rd book of my copy of Ckand’s Prithi Paj Paisa, which 
is appropriately named KilU-dhilli-kathd, or “ story of the 
Loose Pillar.” Chand, however, refers the event to the time 
of the last Anang Pal, who wished to ascertain the fortu- 
nate hour for holding a great festival in honour of the birth 
of his grandson, Prithi Paj. He enquired from Yyas, a 
Jagjoti Brahman, who after a short consideration replied — 
“Now is the lucky time, your dynasty will become immove- 
able, and its root will strike into the head of Seshnag.§ 
But the Raja was incredulous, when Yyas taking an iron 
spike drove it down 60 lingers deep until it reached the 
serpent’s head,Y and drawing it out he showed it to the 
Paja covered with blood. Then addressing Anang Pal, he 
said — “ Y r our kingdom like the spike has became unstable.” 

* Journal II., 291. 

+ Tour in Upper India, I., 121. 

$ 2nd edition, p. 47 

Seshnag or Vasuki is the King of the Serpents, on whose thousand heads the earth 
itself is said to be supported. 

H Sutlisu cingula lohah killtya, Sukar Sesn&gli sir milUga. 



Thus saith the Seer Yyas, 

Things that must come to pass : 

Now the Tomars, next Chohdns , 

And shortly after the Turbans* 

The Raja in a rage expelled Yyas, who retired to Ajmer, 
where he was hospitably received by the Chohans on account 
of his prophecy in favour of their race. 

The remaining inscriptions on the Iron Pillar are 
numerous but unimportant. There are two records of the 
Cliolian Itaja Chatra Sinha, both dated in Samvat 1883, or 
A. D. 1826. They state that the Raja was descended from 
Rrithivi Raja in 29 generations, which is quite possible, 
although the period allowed for each generation is under 23 
years. The date of Prithivi Raja is given as Samvat 1851, or 
A. D. 1091, which is just 99 years too early, an amount of 
error which agrees with the false dates which have been in- 
serted in the text of the Prithi R6j Rasa of the Bard Chand. 
There is also another modern Nagari inscription of six lines, 
dated in Samvat 1767, or A. D. 1710, of the Bundela Rajas of 
Chanderi. Below this there are two Persian inscriptions, 
dated in A. H. 1060 and 1061, or A. D. 1651-52, which merely 
record the names of visitors. 

The only other remains of Hindu Delhi are the nu- 
merous pillars which form the colonnades of the Court of the 
Great Masjid close to the Kutb Minar. The Arabic inscrip- 
tion over the eastern entrance of this Court-yard states that 
the materials were obtained from the demolition of 27 idola- 
trous temples, each of which had cost the sum of 20 lakhs of 
I) 'dials. I agree with Mr. Thomasf that the D ilia l must 
have corresponded with the original billon currency of 
Prithivi Raja. Now the value of the Dilial was as nearly as 
possible the same as that of the Jital or Chital of Ala-uddin 
Kliilji, 50 of which, as we learn from Perishta, * were equal 
to one Rupee. The cost of each of these temples would not, 
therefore, have been more than Rs. 40,000, and that of the 
whole number, only Rs. 10,80,000, or £108,000. The cost 
of these temples seems excessive when expressed in such 

* Katie Vyds Jagjoti agamu dgamu hojdno, 
Tomar, tai Chahuivdn tioi, puni puni Tarkdno, 
f Prinsep’s Essays, I., 326. 
t -Briggs, I., 360. 



small money as Dilials, each coin being worth only a little 
more than a half-penny ; hut the sum is moderate enough 
when it is named in rupees. 

Mr. Fergusson* has expressed an opinion that “ it is not 
“easy to determine whether the pillars now stand as ori- 
“ ginally arranged by the Hindus, or whether they have been 
“ taken down and re-arranged hv the conquerors.” In this 
instance he thinks it “ most probable that the former was 
“ the case, and that they were open colonnades surrounding 
“ the palace of Prithivi Raja hut he presently adds that, 
“ if this is so, it is the only instance known of Hindu pillars 
“ being left undisturbed.” When Mr. Fergusson formed this 
opinion, he was not aware of the fact recorded over the 
eastern gateway by the Musulman conqueror, that the Great 
Masjid had been built of the materials of no less than 
twenty-seven Hindu temples. He knew only the common 
tradition that on this site once stood the palace and temple 
attributed to Prithivi Raja. On this account he may have 
supposed that most of these pillars must have belonged to 
those buildings, and, therefore, that some of them might pos- 
sibly still be in their original positions. But evidently he 
had strong doubts on the subject ; for he repeats his opinion 
that, “ if the pillars at Kutb are in situ, it is the only instance 
“known of such being the case.” In February 1853 I 
examined very minutely the pillared cloisters of the Great 
Mosque, and I then came to the conclusion, as recorded in 
my note-hook at the time, that “ the square about the Iron 
“ Pillar is all made up ; the outer-walls are not Hindu ; the 
“ pillars are all made up of pieces of various kinds ; the 
“ shaft of one kind being placed above that of another for 
“ the purpose of obtaining height. The general effect is good ; 
“ but a closer inspection reveals the incongruities of pillars, 
“ half plain and half decorated, and of others that are thicker 
“above than below.” Just ten years later, in January 
1863, with Mr. Fergusson’s hook in my hand I re-examined 
the whole of these pillars with exactly the same result. 
Every single pillar is made up of two separate Hindu shafts, 
placed one above the other ; and as these shafts are of many 
various sizes, the required height is obtained by the insertion 
of other pieces between the shorter shafts.! In one instance 

* Hand-book of Architecture, 141S. 

+ I have a suspicion that some of the pillars in the Masjid itself may be in their 
original positions. They are single pillars of a large temple. I will examine them minutely 
during the ensuing cold season, 1871-72. 



in the north cloister there is a pillar made np of no less than 
three shafts of exactly the same pattern, piled one over the 
other. This may be seen in Beato’s photograph of this clois- 
ter (see the 4tli pillar on the left hand). The general effect 
of these large rows of made-up columns is certainly rich and 
pleasing ; hut this effect is due to the kindly hand of time, 
which has almost entirely removed the coating of plaster 
with which the whole of these beautifully sculptured pillars 
were once barbarously covered by the idol-hating Musalmans. 

The same doubling np of the old Hindu pillars has been 
followed in the cloisters of the outer court of the Kutb Minar, 
the shaft of one plain pillar being placed over another to obtain 
height. A similar re-arrangement may be observed in the 
Court of the Jdmai or Dina Masjid of Kanoj, commonly called 
Sita-ka-Basui, or “ Sita’s kitchen.” 

The number of decorated pillars now remaining in the 
court-yard of the Great Mosque around the Iron Pillar is, 
as nearly as I could reckon them, 340 ; but as the cloisters 
are incomplete, the original number must have been much 
greater. My reckoning makes them 450. In the interior 
of the Great Mosque itself there are 35 pillars now remain- 
ing, of a much larger size and of a somewhat different style 
of decoration. When the Mosque was complete there must 
have been not less than 76 of these pillars. Of the plainer 
pillars in the court-yard of the Kutb Minar I counted 376, 
but the total number required to complete the cloisters would 
be about 1,200. 

I have given these figures in detail for the purpose of 
corroborating the statement of the Musalman conqueror, 
with regard to the number of temples that were standing in 
Dilli at the close of the Hindu power. The usual number of 
columns in a Hindu temple is from 20 to 30, although a few 
of the larger temples may have from 50 to 60. But these 
are exceptional cases, and they are more than balanced by 
the greater number of smaller temples, which have not more 
than 12 or 16 pillars. The great temple of Vishnupad at 
Gaya has 50 pillars, and Mr. Pergusson mentions that a 
temple of 56 pillars was the most extended arrangement that 
he had met with under a single dome.* The magnificent 

* Illustrations of Indian Architecture, Introd., p. 18. 




temple at Chandr&vati, near Jlialra Pcltan, and the pillared 
temple of Ganthai, at Kajrdho, have only 28 columns each. 
The Baroli temple has 24 columns, the great temple at 
Bindrdbcin has only 16, and the Chaori, in the Mokandra 
Pass, has not more than 12. But there are many temples 
that have even fewer pillars than these ; as, for instance, that 
of Mata Devi, in Gwalior, which has only 6 pillars, and that 
of Chatur Blmja, also in Gwalior, which has not more than 
4 pillars. Taking these temples as fair specimens of many 
various styles and ages, the average number of pillars in a 
Hindu fane is between 24 and 25, or, if the extremes be 
omitted, the average number is 21. Accepting these num- 
bers as a fair guide, we may set down the 76 pillars of the 
Great Masjid as the spoils of at least 2, but more probably 
of 3 temples, each equal in size to the magnificent fane at 
Chandra vati. Similarly the 453 pillars of the court of the 
Masjid will represent the spoils of not less than from 18 to 
22 temples, of 20 and 25 columns each. These numbers 
added together give a total of from 20 to 25 temples, which 
agrees so nearly with the number recorded in the Muham- 
madan inscription, as to leave no doubt whatever of the truth 
of the conqueror’s boast that the Masjid was built of the 
spoils of 27 temples. 

A curious confirmation of the average size of those 
temples has been afforded by a discovery which I first made 
in 1853, and which I completed during the present year 1863. 
In the south-east corner of the cloisters of the Great Mosque, 
the pillars, with bases and capitals complete, are nearly all of 
one style and size, and quite different from the other columns. 
Now, the bases, shafts, and capitals of these pillars are num- 
bered, the highest number discovered being 19. I found 15 
numbered shafts, of which No. 13 is in the north cloister, far 
away from its fellows. I found also 13 numbered bases, and 
7 numbered capitals ; but only in one instance, that of No. 10, 
do the numbers of base, shaft, and capital, as they now stand, 
agree. Here, then, we have a direct and convincing proof that 
these particular pillars have all been re-arranged. The total 
number of shafts discovered was only 15, but they were all 
numbered. Of the bases I discovered 19, of which 4 were 
square, and 15 had the angles recessed like all the shafts. 
Of the capitals, all of one uniform pattern, I found 20, of 
which one was inscribed with the No. 19. From all these 


Plate XiAVH. 

Anastatired - 1 the Surveyor General’s Office, Calcutta. 



facts I conclude, with a probability amounting almost to cer- 
tainty, that the temple from which these pillars were obtained 
consisted of 20 columns only. On No. 12 shaft there is the 
word Kaclial in Nagari letters on one face, with the date of 
1121 on another face, which, referred to the Yikramaditya 
Samvat, is equivalent to A. D. 1067, at which time 
Anang Pal II., the founder of Lalkot, was reigning in 

But the mason’s marks on the stones of this temple 
were not confined to the pillars, as I discovered them on no 
less than 13 different portions of its entablature. These 
marks are more than usually detailed ; but, unfortunately, in 
spite of their length and apparent clearness, I am still unable 
to make them out completely.* 

The marks are the followin 

A. — Chapa, Vida 3 ... 

B. — Chapa Vida 4 

C. — Puchuki 4 

D. — Puchuki 5 pachhim ... 

E. — Vi Chaothe 

F. — Vi panchama 

G. — Prathama Dashen 

H. — Pachchhim Raki Dashen 

K. — Purab Prathama 

L. — Purab 3 

M. — Pachchhim Ra 3 A- (ge ?) 

N. — Pachchhim Raki pachchhe 

O. — Pachchhim Raki 6 pachchhe 

Upper Vida (?) No. 3 

Ditto (?) No. 4 

Rear (?) No. 4 

Rear (?) No. 5 west. 

Vida (?) fourth. 

Vida (?) fifth. 

First Architrave. 

West side Architrave. 

East first. 

East No. 3. 

West side No. 3., front? 
West side back. 

West side No. 6, back. 

There is a peculiarity about the numbers of the pillars 
which is worthy of note. Each cypher is preceded by the 
initial letter of the word for that number. Thus, 3 is preceded 
by ti for tin, 10 by da for das, and 16 by so for solah. The 
same style of marking would appear to have been used for 
a second temple, as I found a pillar of another pattern with 
the number du 2, and a pilaster of the same kind with 

* See Plate XXXVII. for copies of these mason’s marks, and a drawing of one of the 
pillars. During a visit of a few hours in the present year, 1871, I found two numbered pillars 
of a different kind, with the Nos. 2 and 19, showing that a second temple, destroyed by the 
Muhammadans, must have been supported on not less than 20 pillars. I found also a mason’s 
record of five lines on a third variety of pillar, but the letters are faint and difficult to read. 
I can make out a notice of 7 + 6 + 5 + 8, or 26 pillars altogether, of which 1 discovered 6 
in the cloisters. 



i 19.* Sixteen bases of the first pillar have recessed 
angles, and four are plain squares. In this case the temple 
would have had 4 pillars (probably an outer row) of one 
pattern, and 16 of another kind, but all of the same height. 

The dimensions of these inscribed pillars are as follows : 






( Upper member, with brackets... 
( Lower ditto 











f Upper portion, ornamented 



( Lower ditto plain 





Total hei 


• • . 



The only other Hindu remains are the two forts of 
Ldlkot and Bed Pithora, which together formed the old 
I)illi of the Musalmans, after the building of a new fort 
of Siri by Ala-ud-din Khilji. Of these two, the older fort 
of Ldlkot has hitherto remained unknown, being always 
described by Musalmans as a part of the fort of Pithora. 
It is called Siri by Lieutenant Burgess, who made a survey 
of the ruins of Dilli in 1849-50, and the same name is given 
to it by Messrs. Cope and Lewis in their interesting account 
of Piruzabad, published in the Journal of the Archaeological 
Society of Delhi for 1850. The reasons which induce me 
to identify this fort with the Ldlkot of Anang Pal have 
already been given when speaking of the re-founding of Dilli, 
and the reasons which compel me to reject its identification 
with Siri will be detailed when I come to speak of that 

The Fort of Ldlkot, which was built by Anang Pal in 
A. D. 1060, is of an irregular rounded oblong form, miles 
in circumference. Its walls are as lofty and as massive as 
those of Tughlakabad , although the blocks of stone are not 

* These two pillars are 4 feet 101 inches high, and Ilf inches square. I found 13 pillars 
of almost the same pattern, but of somewhat large dimensions, being 5 feet 31 inches high, 
and 13 j inches square. The commonest pillar is of a similar pattern, but with the addition 
of human figures on the lower faces of the shaft, and a deep recessed ornament at the top 
of the shaft. Of this kind I counted 78 pillars during my last visit in the present year 



so colossal. By different measurements I found the ram- 
parts to be from 28 to 30 feet in thickness, of which the 
parapet is just one-half. The same thickness of parapet is also 
derived from the measurement given by Ibn Batuta in A. D. 
1340, who says that the walls were eleven cubits thick. 
Accepting this measure as the same that was in use in Biruz 
Shah’s time, namely, of 16 inches, as derived from the length 
of Biruz Shah’s pillar, the thickness of the walls of old 
Dilli was 14f feet. These massive ramparts have a general 
height of 60 feet above the bottom of the ditch, which still 
exists in very fair order all round the fort, except on the south 
side, wdiere there is a deep and extensive hollow that was 
most probably once tilled with water. About one-half of 
the main walls are still standing as firm and as solid as when 
they were first built. At all the salient points there are 
large bastions from 60 to 100 feet in diameter. Two of the 
largest of these, which are on the north side, are called the 
Fateh Burj and the Solum Burj. The long lines of wall 
between these bastions are broken by numbers of smaller 
towers well splayed out at the base, and 45 feet in diameter 
at top, with curtains of 80 feet between them. Along the 
base of these towers, which are still 30 feet in height, there 
is an outer line of wall forming a raoni or faussebraie, which 
is also 30 feet in height. The parapet of this wall has en- 
tirely disappeared, and the wall itself is so much broken, as 
to afford an easy descent into the ditch in many places. The 
upper portion of the counterscrap walls has all nearly fallen 
down, excepting on the north-west side, where there is a 
double line of works strengthened by detached bastions. 

The positions of three of the gateways in the west half 
of the fort are easily recognized, but the walls of the 
eastern half are so much broken that it is now only possible 
to guess at the probable position of one other gate. The 
north gate is judiciously placed in the re-entering angle 
close to the Bateli Burj, where it still forms a deep gap in 
the lofty mass of rampart, by which the cowherds enter 
with their cattle. The west gate is the only one of which 
any portion of the walls now remains. It is said to have 
been called the Banjit gate. This gate-way was 17 feet wide, 
and there is still standing on the left hand side a large up- 
right stone, with a grove for guiding the assent and descent 
of a portcullis. This stone is 7 feet in height above the 



rubbish, but it is probably not less than 12 or 15 feet. 
It is 2 feet 1 inch broad and 1 foot 3 inches thick. The 
approach to this gate is guarded by no less than three small 
out-works. The south gate is in the southmost angle near 
Adham Khan’s tomb. It is now a mere gap in the mass of 
rampart. On the south-east side there must, I think, have 
been a gate near Sir Thomas Metcalfe’s house, leading 
towards Tughlakabad and Mathura.* 

Syad Ahmad states, on the authority of Zia Bami, that 
the west gate of Bui Pithora’s Port was called the Ghazni 
Gate after the Musalman conquest, because the Ghazni troops 
had gained the fortress by that entrance. I feel satisfied that 
this must be the Han] it Gate of Lalkot for the foil owing 
reasons : 

1st . — The Musalmans never make any mention of Lal- 
kot, but always include it as a part of Rai Pithora’s Port. 

2nd . — The possession of the larger and weaker fortress 
of Rai Pithora could not be called the conquest of Delhi, 
while the stronger citadel of Lalkot still held out. 

3rd . — The evident care with which the approach to the 
Ranjit Gate has been strengthened by a double line of works, 
and by three separate out-works immediately in front of the 
gateway itself, shows that this must have been considered as 
the weakest point of the fortress, and therefore that it was 
the most likely to have been attacked. Por this reason I 
conclude that the Ranjit gate was the one by which the 
Musalmans entered Lalkot, the citadel of Dilli, and that, 
having proved its weakness by their own success, they at 
once proceeded to strengthen the works at this point for their 
own security. A case exactly similar occurred less than 
forty years afterwards, when the Emperor Altamsh, having 
gained an entrance into the fortress of Gwalior by the deep 
ravine on the west side called Urwalii, immediately closed it 
by a massive wall, to prevent his enemies from taking advan- 
tage of the same weak point. I believe that the western 

* See Plate No. XXXVI. for an enlarged plan of Lalkot, showing the positions of the 
different gates. It seems probable that the western half of Lalkot was once cut off from 
the eastern half, as there are traces of walls and ramparts running from the Sohan Bftrj on 
the north direct south towards Adham Khan’s tomb. I traced these walls as far as the 
ruined building to the west of Anang Pal’s tank. The western portion would have been 
the citadel of Lalkot under Anang Pal, before the accession of Rai Pithora. My Assistant, 
Mr. J. D. Beglar, has discovered a gateway in the southern half of this wall, between 
Adham Khan’s Tomb and the Jog Maya temple. 



gate was called tlie Ghazni Gate for the simple reason only 
that Ghazni lies to the west of Delhi. 

The Fort of Rai Pithora, which surrounds the citadel 
of Lalkot on three sides, would appear to have been built 
to protect the Hindu city of Dilli from the attacks of the 
Musalmans. As early as A. D. 1100, the descendants of 
Mahmud, retiring from Ghazni before the rising power of the 
Saljukis, had fixed their new capital at Labor, although 
Ghazni still belonged to their kingdom, and was occasionally 
the seat of Government. But a new and more formidable 
enemy soon appeared, when the celebrated Muaz-uddin Sam, 
commonly called Muhammad Ghori, after capturing the cities 
of Multan and Parshawar, appeared before Labor in A. D. 
1180, and put an end to the Ghaznavide dynasty by the 
capture of their capital in A. D. 1186. The danger was 
now imminent, and only a few years later we find the 
Ghori King in full march on Ajmer. But the Raja of 
Dilli was well prepared for this invasion, and, with the aid 
of his allies, he defeated the Musalmans with great slaughter 
at Tilaori, midway between Karnal and Thanesar. As the 
first appearance of the formidable Ghoris before Labor 
corresponds so nearly with the accession of Prithivi Raja, 
I think it very probable that the fortification of the city of 
Dilli was forced upon theRaja by a well-grounded apprehension 
that Dilli itself might soon be attacked ; and so it happened, 
for within two years after the battle of Tilaori the Raja was 
a prisoner, and Dilli was in the possession of the Musalmans. 

The circuit of Rai Pithora’s Port is 4 miles and 3 
furlongs, or just three times as much as that of Lalkot. But 
the defences of the city are in every way inferior to those 
of the citadel. The walls are only half the height, and the 
towers are placed at much longer intervals. The wall of the 
city is carried from the north bastion of Lalkot, called Fateh 
Biirj, to the north-east for three-quarters of a mile, where 
it turns to the south-east for 1-| mile to the Damdama Burj. 
Prom this bastion the direction of the wall for about one mile 
is south-west, and then north-west for a short distance to the 
south end of the hill on which Azim Khan’s tomb is situated. 
Beyond this point the wall can be traced for some distance 
to the north along the ridge which was most probably 
connected with the south-east corner of Lalkot, somewhere 
in the neighbourhood of Sir T. Metcalfe’s house. 



The Port of Rai Pithora or Delhi Proper is said to have 
had nine gates besides the Ghazni Gate,* most of which can 
still be traced. Three are on the west side, of which two 
belong to the citadel of Lalkot, aid the third has a small out- 
work. There were five on the north side, towards Jahanpanah, 
and one on the east side, towards Tughlakabad, which must 
have been the Badaon Gate, that is so often mentioned in early 
Muhammadan history. There must also have been one gate 
on the south side, which would have been close to Sir T. 
Metcalfe’s house. Such was the Hindu City of Dilliwhen it 
was captured by the Musalmans in January 1191. The circuit 
of its walls was nearly 4^ miles, and it covered a space of 
ground equal to one-lialf of the modern Shahjalianabad, the 
Capital of the Mogul Sovereigns of India. It possessed 27 
Hindu temples, of which several hundreds of richly carved 
pillars still remain to attest both the taste and the wealth of 
the last Hindu Purlers of Dilli. 


The first Musalman Sovereigns of Delhi are said to have 
remained content with the fortress of Rai Pithora, although 
it seems highly probable that they must have added to the 
defences of the west gate, by which they had entered Lalkot, 
the citadel of the Hindu Kings. But though the first 
Musalman Kings did not build huge forts or extensive cities 
to perpetuate their names, yet in the Great Mosque and 
magnificent column of Kutb-uddin Aibeg, as well as in the 
richly carved tomb of Altamsh, they have left behind them 
a few noble works, which are in every way more Worthy of 
our admiration. 

The Great Mosque of Kutb-uddin was called the Jama 
Masjid, according to the inscription over the inner archway 
of the east entrance. But it is now more commonly known 
as the Masjid-i-Kutb-ul Islam, or the “Mosque of the Pole 
Star of Islamism,” a name which appears to preserve that of 
its founder. It seems probable, however, that the Kutb 
Mosque, as well as the Mindr, may have been named after 
the contemporary Saint Kutb-uddin Ushi, whose tomb is 
close by. Syad Alimad adds that the Mosque was also called 

* Malfuzat-i-Timuri, or Autobiography of Timur, in Dowson’s edition of Sir H. M. Elliot’s 
History — III., 418. — So also Sharafuddin in the Zafar Naina, in Dowson’s Elliot, III., 504. 



the Adina Masjid. This Great Mosque, which even in ruin 
is one of the most magnificent works in the world, was seen 
by Ilm Batuta* about 150 years after its erection, when he 
describes it as having no equal, either for beauty or extent. 
In the time of Timur, the people of old Delhi prepared to 
defend the Great Mosque, but they were all, according to the 
Muhammadan Historian Sliaraf-uddin, despatched by the 
sword “ to the deepest hell.” The Mosque is not mentioned 
by Baber, although he notices the Minar and the tomb of 
Khwaja Kutb-uddin, which he perambulated. f It is not 
mentioned either by Abul Pazl ; but no inference can be 
drawn from his silence, as he does not even allude to the 
Kutb Minar. The Minar itself was repaired during the 
reign of Sikandar Lodi ; but we hear nothing of the Great 
Mosque, from which, perhaps, it may be inferred either that 
it was still in good order, or that it was too much ruined to 
be easily repaired. I conclude that the latter w r as the case, 
as it seems probable that the permanent removal of the 
court from Delhi to Piruzabad must have led to the gradual 
abandonment of the old city. We have a parallel case in the 
removal of the Hindu court from Kanoj to the Bari in the 
time of Mahmud of Ghazni. This removal took place in 
A. D. 1022 and in A. D. 1031, or within ten years, Abu 
Ptihan records that Ivanoi having been deserted by its ruler, 
“ fell to ruin.” 

The Great Mosque of Kutb-uddin was begun imme- 
diately after the capture of Delhi in A. H. 587, or A. D. 
1191, as recorded by the King himself in the long inscrip- 
tion over the inner archway of the east entrance. This is 
the reading of the date given by Syad Ahmad, and Mr. Thomas 
has shown good grounds for its being the true date. My own 
reading was 589, taking tisa or nine, where Syad Ahmad 
reads saba or seven, but the two words are so much alike that 
they may be read differently by different people. Mr. Thomas 
has pointed out that Ihn Batuta read the unit as arba or four. 
In this inscription, as well as in the shorter one over the 
outer archway of the same gate, Kutb-uddin refrains from 
calling himself by the title of Sultan, which be bestows on 
his Suzerain Muaz-uddin in the inscription over the north 

* Travels, p. 111. 
f Memoirs, p. 308. 




gateway. This last inscription is dated in A. H. 59.2. And 
here I have to notice the omission of two points in the Syad’s 
copy of the second number of the date. In my copy, which 
was taken in 1839, I find the word tisam, or “ ninety,” quite 
complete. This inscription records that the foundation of 
the Masjid was laid in the reign of the Sultan Mudz-uddin 
Muhammad , bin Sam (in the time of the Khalif) Naser, 
Chief of the Faithful. The date of A. H. 592, or A. D. 1196, 
must, therefore, I think, he referred to the completion of the 
building. It is true that five years may seem but a short 
time for the erection of this large mosque, yet, when we 
remember that the whole of the stones were obtained ready 
squared from the Hindu temples on the spot, our wonder will 
cease, and any doubts that might have arisen in our minds 
will be dissipated at once. 

The Jama Masjid is not so large as many buildings of 
the same kind that have been raised in later years, such as 
the great Mosques of Jonpur and others; but it is still 
unrivalled for its grand line of gigantic arches, and for the 
graceful beauty of the flowered tracery which covers its walls. 
The front of the Masjid is a wall 8 feet thick, pierced by a line 
of five noble arches. The centre arch is 22 feet wide and 
nearly 53 feet in height, and the side arches are 10 feet wide and 
24 feet high. Through these gigantic arches the first Musal- 
mans of Delhi entered a magnificent room, 135 feet long 
and 31 feet broad, the roof of which was supported on five rows 
of the tallest and finest of the Hindu pillars. The Mosque is 
approached through a cloistered court, 145 feet in length 
from east to west, and 96 feet in width. In the midst of the 
west half of this court, stands the celebrated Iron Pillar, sur- 
rounded by cloisters formed of several rows of Hindu columns 
of infinite variety of design, and of most delicate execution. 
There are three entrances to the court of the Masjid, each 10 feet 
in width, of which the eastern entrance was the principal one. 
The southern entrance has disappeared long ago, but the 
other two are still in good order, with their interesting 
inscriptions in large Arabic letters. 

I have already noticed that the whole of the beautiful 
Hindu pillars in these cloisters were originally covered with 
plaster by the idol-hating Musalmans as the readiest way of 
removing the infidel images from the view of true believers. 
A distinct proof of this may be seen on two stones in the north 


of the 






m r 

TOM ft 




added \»y 

ALTAMSH . A . D . !820 

r y > i 


built by 

' rf] 

0 □ x 

D D 
D D 
a d c 

0 D 

□ a 
a □ 
o d 

0 D 

a a 
o o 
c o 



added \)y 

ALA-UD-DIN. A.D. 1300 

/*r<*/<* ''t' Feet 

_1 I l t 

100 So 

A. . Cumiing'ham cl el . 


Litho. at the Survr. Geni’s. Office. Cah October 1S71 



side of the court, one fixed in the inner wall in the north-east 
angle just above the pillars, and the other in the outer wall 
between the north gate and the north-east corner. The inner 
sculpture represents several well known Hindu gods, — 1st, 
Vislinu , lying on a couch witli a lotus rising from his 
navel, and covered by a canopy, with two attendants, one 
standing at his head and one sitting at his feet; 2nd, a seated 
figure not recognized ; 3rd, Indr a, on his elephant ; 4tli, 
Brahma , with three heads seated on his goose ; 5th, Siva, with 
his trident seated on his bull Nandi ; 6th, a figure with lotus 
seated on some animal not recognized. The outer sculpture is 
of a different description. The scene shows two rooms with a 
half-opened door between them . In each room there is a female 
lying on a couch with a child by her side, a canopy over her 
head, and an attendant at her feet. In the left-hand room two 
females are seen carrying children towards the door, and in 
the risrht-hand room two others are doinsr the same. The 

O O 

whole four of these females appear to be hastening towards 
the principal figure in the right-hand room. I am unable 
to offer any explanation of this very curious scene, but as it 
is very unlikely that these figures would have been exposed 
to the sight of the early Musalmans, I conclude that these 
stones must also have been carefully plastered over. 

During the reign of Altamsh, the son-in-law of Kutb- 
uddin, the Great Mosque was much enlarged by the addition 
of two wings to the north and south, and by the erection of 
a new cloistered court on the north, east, and south sides, 
so as to include the Kutb Minar in the south-east corner 
of the enclosure. The fronts of the two wing buildings are 
pierced by three arches each, the middle arches being 24 feet 
span, and the side arches 13 feet. The walls are of the same 
thickness, and their ornamental scrolls are of the same 
delicate and elaborate tracery as those of the original Mosque.* 
The whole front of the Jama Masjid, with its new additions, 
is 384 feet in length, which is also the length of its cloistered 
court, the breadth being 220 feet. The wall on the south side 
of the court, as well as the south end of the east wall, are 
fortunately in good preservation, and, as about three-fourths 
of the columns are still standing, we are able to measure the 
size of the enclosure with precision, and to reckon the number 

* See plate No. XXXVII. for a plan of the original Masjid and its additions. 


of columns with tolerable certainty. The number of columns 
in the new cloisters must have been as nearly as possible 
300, and as each of them consists of two Hindu shafts, the 
whole number of Hindu pillars thus brought into use could 
not have been less than 600. By my measurements the 
new court is 362 feet long and 220 feet broad, inside the 
the walls, of which the west wall, which is the front of the 
Masjid, is only 8 feet thick, the other walls being 11 feet 
thick. In the south-east corner of this great quadrangle 
stands the majestic column called Kutb Minar, within 11 feet 
of the line of cloister pillars on the south, and extending into 
the middle of the cloister on the east side. 

At a later date the court of the Great Mosque was still 
further enlarged by Alauddin Khilji, by the addition of a 
large choistered enclosure on the east side, equal in size to 
more than one-lialf of the court of Altamsh. This work is 
described by the contemporary poet Amir Kliusru,* who says 
that the “ Sultan determined upon adding to and completing 
the Masjid-i-Jami of Shams-uddin by building beyond the 
three old gates and courts a fourth with lofty pillars, and 
upon the surface of the stones he engraved verses of the 
Kuran in such a manner as could not be done even on wax ; 
ascending so high that you would think the Kuran was going 
to heaven, and again descending in another line so low that 
you would think it was coming down from heaven. * * * 

He also repaired the old Masjids, of which the walls were 
broken or inclining, or of which the roof and domes had 
fallen.” I have given this important passage at some length, 
as its purport does not seem to he quite clear. Mr. Thomas 
understands it to affirm that the long line of noble arches of 
the great Masjid itself were built by Alauddin,! and certainly 
the description of the engraved lines of the Kuran ascending 
and descending is more applicable to these arches than to any 
other portion of the Great Kuth hnildiiigs. I think, however, 
that Amir Khusru must refer to the engraved lines of Taglira 
on the Alai Darwdza, which ascend and descend in the same 
way as those on the great arches of the Mosque. It may ho 
argued that the inscriptions may have been added by Alaud- 
din to the arches built by his predecessors Aibeg and Altamsh. 

* Sir H. M. Elliot’s Muhammadan nistorians, by Dowson, III., CD. 
f Chronicles of the Pathan Kings of Delhi, p. 156. 



I confess, however, that my own opinion is strongly in favour 
of the contemporaneous engraving of the inscriptions, and of 
the erection of the long line of noble arches by the earlier 
Kings Aibeg and Altamsh. I rest my opinion not only on 
the positive statement of Hasan Nizami, a contemporary of 
Aibeg, who records that Kuth-uddin “ built the Jami Masjid 
at Delhi,” and covered it with “ inscriptions in Tughra con- 
taining the divine commands,”* but also on the shape and 
construction of the arches, and the form of the letters, 
both of which correspond with those of the Altamsh Masjid 
at Ajmer, while they differ entirely from those of the Alai 
Darwaza and Kliizri Masjid of the time of Alauddin. I note 
first that the four remaining arches of Kutb-uddin’s Mosque 
are ogee in shape like those of the Great Mosque at Ajmer, 
and quite different from the pointed and horse-shoe arches 
of Alauddin. I note nest that the upright letters of the 
Kutb Masjid are very nearly of uniform thickness, thus 
agreeing with those of the dated inscriptions on the gateways, 
while those of Alauddin’s time are invariably much broader 
at top than at bottom. Lastly, I note that the undulated 
flower stem, which forms the ornament of the main line of 
inscription on the central arch of the Mosque, is exactly the 
same as that of the inscription on the north gate v r liich is 
dated in A. H. 594. f 

During the present century, much speculation has been 
wasted as to the origin of the Kutb Minar, whether it is a 
purely Muhammadan building, or a Hindu building altered 
and completed by the conquerors. The latter is undoutedly 
the common belief of the people, wdio say that the pillar w r as 
built by Kai Pitliora for the purpose of giving his daughter 
a view of the Diver Jumna. Some people even say that the 
intention was to obtain a view of the Ganges, and that the Kutb 
Minar having failed to secure this a second pillar of double 
the size was commenced, but the work was interrupted by the 
conquest of the Musalmans. The first part of this tradition 
was warmly adopted by Sir T. Metclafe, and it has since found 
a strong advocate in Syad Ahmad, whose remarks are quoted 
with approval by Mr. Cooper in his recent hand-book for 

# Sir H. M. Elliot’s Historians, by Dowson, II., p. 222. 

+ Compare tlris elated inscription No. 7, plate XIII. of the Asar us Sunnadid, with 
any large photograph of the Kutb arches. 



Delhi. Svad Ahmad, however, refers only the basement 
storey to Bai Pithora; but this admission involves the whole 
design of the column, which preserves the same marked cha- 
racter throughout all the different storeys. The Hindu 
theory has found a stout ojiponent in Colonel Sleeman, who 
argues that the great slope of the building “ is the peculiar 
characteristic of all architecture of the Pathans,” and that 
the arches of the Great Mosque close by it “ all correspond 
in design, proportion, and execution to the tower.”* 

Mr. Cooper f recapitulates Svad Ahmad’s arguments, 
and finally states as his opinion that it “ remains an open 
question whether this magnificent pillar was commenced by 
the Hindus or Muhammadans.” 1 must confess, however, 
that I am myself quite satisfied that the building is entirely a 
Muhammadan one, both as to origin and to design ; although, 
no doubt, many, perhaps all, of the beautiful details of 
the richly decorated balconies may be Hindu. To me these 
decorations seem to be purely Hindu, and just such as may 
be seen in the honey-comb enrichments of the domes of most 
of the old Hindu temples. The arguments brought forward 
in support of the Hindu origin of the column are the 
following : 

1st . — “ That there is only one Ulnar, which is contrary 
to the practice of the Muhammadans, who always give two 
Minars to their Masjids.” I allow that this has been the 
practice of the Muhammadans for the last three hundred 
years at least, and I will even admit that the little corner 
turrets or pinnacles of the Kdla, or Kalan , Masjid of Piruz 
Shah, may be looked upon as Minars. This would extend 
the period of the use of two Minars to the middle of the 
14 th century; but it must be remembered that these little 
turrets of Piruz Shah’s Masjid are not what the Musalmans 
call Mazinahs, or lofty towers, from the top of which the 
Muazzin calls the faithful to prayer. But the Ivutb Minar 
is a Mazinah ; and that it was the practice of the early 
Muhammadans to build a single tower, we have the most 
distinct and satisfactory proofs in the two Minars of Ghazni, 
which could not have belonged to one Masjid, as they are 
half a mile apart, and of different sizes. These Minars were 

* Rambles of an Indian Official, II., 254. 
f Hand-book for Delhi, p. 73. 



built by Mahmud in the early part of the lltk century, or 
about 180 years prior to the erection of the Kutb Minar. 
Another equally decisive proof of this practice is the solitary 
Minar at Koel, which was built in A. H. 652, or A. D. 1251, 
by Kutlugli Khan , during the reign of Nasir-uddin Mahmud, 
the youngest son of Altamsh, in whose time the Kutb Minar 
itself was completed. These still existing Minars of Ghazni 
and Koel show that it was the practice of the early Muham- 
madans to have only one Minar even down to so late a date 
as the middle of the 13th century. 

2nd . — It is objected that the slope of the Kutb Minar 
is much greater than that of any other known Minars. This 
objection has already been satisfactorily answered by Colonel 
Sleeman, who says truely that “ the slope is the peculiar cha- 
racteristic of the architecture of the Pathans.” 

3rd . — Syad Ahmad argues that, if the Minar had been 
intended as a Mdzinah to the Great Mosque, it would have 
been erected at one end of it, instead of being at some distance 
from it. In reply to this objection I can point again to the 
Koel Minar, which occupies exactly the same detached posi- 
tion with regard to the Jama Masjid of Koel as the Kutb 
Minar does with respect to the Great Mosque of Delhi. Both 
of them are placed outside the south-east corner of their res- 
pective Masjids. This coincidence of position seems to me 
sufficient to settle the question in favor of the Kutb Minar 
having been intended as a Mazinah of the Great Mosque. 

4 th .- — Syad Ahmad further argues “ that the entrance 
door faces the north, as the Hindus always have it,” whereas 
the Muhammadans invariably place it to the eastward, as may 
be seen in the unfinished “ Minar of Alauddin to the north 
of the Kutb Minar.” Once more I appeal to the Koel 
Minar, which, be it remembered, was erected by the son of 
the Emperor who completed the building of the Kutb Minar, 
and which may, therefore, be looked upon as an almost con- 
temporary work. In the Koel Minar the entrance door is to 
the north, exactly as in the Kutb Minar. In both instances, 
I believe that it was so placed chiefly for the convenience of 
the Muazzin when going to call the faithful to prayer. It 
think, also, that Syad Ahmad has overlooked the fact that the 
Minars of modern days are “ engaged” towers, that is, they 
form the ends of the front wall of the Mosque, and, as the 



back wall of every Mosque is to tlie westward, tlie entrances 
to the “ engaged” Minars must necessarily he to the eastward. 
But the case is entirely different with a solitary disengaged 
Minar, of which the entrance would naturally be on the side 
nearest to its Masjid. But waiving this part of the discus- 
sion, I return to the fact that the entrance of the Koel Minar 
is to the northward, exactly the same as in the Kutb Minar, 
and that the entrances to the two great tombs of Balidwal 
HaJc, and RuJcn-nddin in Multan are not to the eastward but 
to the southward, as are also those of the Taj Mahal, and of 
most other modem tombs. The only exception that I know is 
the tomb of Altamsh, of which the entrance is to the east- 
ward. The argument of Syad xllimad includes also the posi- 
tion of the entrance doors of Hindu buildings, which, as lie 
says, are always placed to the northward. But this is an 
undoubted mistake, as a very great majority of Hindu 
temples have their entrances to the eastward. On referring 
to my Note books, I find that, out of 50 temples, of which 
I have a record, no less than 38 have their entrances to the 
east, 10 to the west, and only 2 to the north, both of which 
last are in the Port of Gwalior. 

Mil . — Syad Ahmad further objects that “it is customary 
for the Hindus to commence such buildings without any 
platform (or plinth), whereas the Muhammadans always erect 
their buildings upon a raised terrace or platform, as may be 
seen in the unfinished Minar of Alauddin Khilji.” In this 
statement about the Hindu buildings, Syad Ahmad is again 
mistaken, as it is most undoubtedly the usual custom of the 
Hindus to raise their temples on plinths. I can point to the 
gigantic Buddhist temple at Buddha Gaya as springing from 
a plinth nearly 20 feet in height. The two largest temples 
in the Port of Gwalior, one Bralimanical and the other Jain, 
are both raised on plinths, so also are the elaborately sculp- 
tured temples of Kajraha, and so are most of the temples in 
in Kashmir. Lastly, the Great Pillar at Cliitor has a plinth 
not less than 8 or 10 feet in height, as may be seen in 
Pergusson’s and Tod’s Drawings, and which Tod* describes 
as “ an ample terrace 42 feet square.” The smaller pillar at 
Chitor must also have a good plinth, as Pcrgusson describes 
the entrance as at some height above the base. That the 

* Rajasthan, II., 7G1. 



Muhammadans in India also erect their buildings on plinths 
or raised terraces, I readily admit ; for, on the same principle 
that a Cuckoo may he said to build a nest, the Musalmans 
usually placed their buildings on the sites of Hindu temples 
which they had previously destroyed. The Mosques at Ma- 
thura, Kanoj, and Jonpur, are signal examples of this practice. 
The raised terrace is, therefore, only an accidental adjunct of 
the Muhammadan building, whereas it is a fundamental part 
of the Hindu structure. But the early Musalmans did not 
place their buildings on raised terraces or platforms, as may 
be seen by a reference to the Drawings of Mosques in Syria 
and Persia, which are given in Pergusson’s Hand-book.* The 
Ghaznivides also, who were the more immediate predecessors 
of the Indian Musalmans, built their Minars at Ghazni with- 
out plinths. The contemporary tomb of Altamsh is likewise 
without a plinth. Prom all these facts I infer that the early 
Musalman structures in India were usually built without 
plinths, and therefore that the Kutb Minar is undoubtedly a 
Muhammadan building. 

5 tli . — The last argument brought forward by Syad 
Ahmad is, that bells, which are used in Hindu worship, arc 
found sculptured on the lower part of the basement storey of 
the Kutb Minar. It is true that bells are used in the daily 
worship of the Hindus, and also that they are a common 
ornament of Hindu columns, as may be seen on most of the 
pillars in the cloisters of the Great Mosque. But bells are 
no more idolatrous than flowers, which are used in such pro- 
fusion in the daily service of the Hindu temples. The fact 
is that, where Muhammadan mosques have been built of the 
materials stolen from Hindu temples, such portions of archi- 
tectural ornament as were free from figures either of men or 
of animals, were invariably made use of by the conquerors. 
Por this reason most of the ornamentation of the early 
Musalman buildings is purely Hindu. Por instance, in the 
Jama Masjid of Kanoj, which is built entirely of Hindu ma- 
terials, the whole of the concentric circles of overlapping 
stones in the central dome, with only one exception, still 
preserve the original Hindu ornament unaltered. The ex- 
ception is the lowest circle, which is completely covered with 
Arabic inscriptions. One of the Hindu circles is made up 
solely of the Swasti/ca or mystic cross of the early Indians. 
This symbol is essentially an idolatrous one, although it is 

A 2 

* Vol. I., p. 415. 



most probable that tlie Musalmans were not aware of its 
significance. But if the ornamental bells of the Kutb Minar 
are to be taken as a proof of its Hindu origin, even so must 
tlie ornamental Swastikas of the Kanoj Masjid be accepted 
as evidence to the same effect. It is admitted that this Masjid 
is built up entirely of Hindu materials, but these have been 
skilfully re-arranged by the Moslem Architect to suit the 
requirements of a mosque, so that the design of the building 
is strictly Muhammadan, while its ornamentation is purely 
Hindu. I may add that one of the western pillars that 
supports the central dome of this mosque is made up of two 
old shafts, both of which are decorated with tlie Hindu bell 
and suspending chain. 

The strong evidence which I have brought forward in 
reply to the arguments of Syad Ahmad and others, appears 
to me to be quite conclusive as to the origin of the Kutb 
Minar, which is essentially a Muhammadan building. But 
the strongest evidence in favor of this conclusion is the fact 
that the Musalmans of Ghazni had already built two separate 
Minars of similar design with angular flutes, whereas the 
only Hindu pillar of an early date, namely, the smaller 
column at Chitor, is altogether dissimilar, both in plan and 
in detail. The entrance to this Hindu tower is at some 
height above the ground, while that of the Kutb Minar is 
absolutely on the ground level. The summit of the Hindu 
tower is crowned by an open pillared temple of almost the 
same width as the base of the building, whereas the cupola 
of the Kutb Minar is little more than • one-sixtli of the 
diameter of its base. But this small cupola of less than 
9 feet in diameter was peculiarly adapted for one special 
purpose connected with the performance of the Muhammadan 
religion. Brom this narrow point the Muazzin could sum- 
mon the faithful to prayer from all sides by simply turning 
round and repeating the Izan, and on all sides lie would 
be visible to the people. The small size of the cupola, 
which crowns the Kutb Minar, is a characteristic peculiar 
to Muhammadan towers for the special reason which I 
have just mentioned. On this account, therefore, I con- 
clude that the Kutb Minar is a Muzinah or Muazzin’s 

That the Kutb Minar was actually used as a Mdzinali > 
we may infer from the records of Shamsi Siraj, who about 
A. D. 1380, records that the magnificent Minar in the Jama 
Masjid of old Delhi was built by Sultan Shams-uddin 'f 



Altamsh. But the fact is placed beyond all doubt by Abulfeda, 
who wrote about A. D. 1300. lie describes the Mazinah of 
the Jama Masjid at Delhi as made of red stone and very lofty, 
with many sides and 360 steps. Now this description can 
be applied only to the Kutb Minar, which, as it at present 
stands, has actually 379 steps ; but we know that the Minar 
was struck by lightning in the reign of Eiruz Shah, by whose 
orders it was repaired in A. D. 136S. There is, therefore, 
nothing improbable in the account of Abulfeda that the 
Minar in his time had only 360 steps. On the contrary I 
accept the statement as a valuable hint towards ascertain- 
ing the height of the original Minar as completed by the 
Emperor Altamsh.* 

The object of building this lofty column seems to me to 
be clear enough. The first Musalman conquerors were an 
energetic race, whose conceptions were as bold and daring as 
their actions. When the zealous Muhammadan looked on 
the great city of Delhi, the metropolis of the princely Tomars 
and the haughty Chohans, his first wish would have been 
to humble the pride of the infidel ; his second, to exalt the 
religion of his prophet Muhammad. To attain both of these 
objects, he built a lofty column, from whose summit the 
Muazziris call to morning and evening prayer could be heard 
on all sides by Hindus as well as by Musalmans. The con- 
queror’s pride was soothed by the daily insult and indignity 
thus offered to the infidel, while his religious feelings were 
gratified by the erection of a noble monument which towered 
majestically over the loftiest houses in the city. 

The' Kutb Minar, as it stands now, is 238 feet and 1 inch 
in height, with a base diameter of 47 feet 3 inches, and an 
upper diameter of nearly 9 feet. The base or plinth of the 
pillar is 2 feet in height, the shaft is 234 feet and 1 inch, and 
the base or stump of the old cupola is 2 feet more ; thus mak- 
ing the whole height 238 feet 1 inch. The shaft is divided 
into five storeys, of which the lower storey is 94 feet 11 inches 
in height, and the upper storey is 22 feet 4 inches, the two 

* See Gildemeister Scriptorum Arabum de rebus Iudieis. He describes it as built 
of red stone. 

Of the 379 steps 3 belong to Major Smith’s cupola, and 37 to the upper storey of 
22 feet 4 inches, which leave 339 steps to the four lower storeys. In the time of Abulfeda, 
there must consequently have been 21 steps above the fourth storey to make up his total of 
360 steps. These would be equal to 13 feet in height, making the total height in his time 
228 feet 9 inches, or 9 feet 4 inches less than at present. This agrees with the statement 
of Firuz Shah, who says — “The Min&ra of Sultan Muiz-udclin Sam had been struck by 
lightning, I repaired it, and raised it lii</kcr than it was before . — See Dowson’s edition of 
Sir H. M. Elliot’s Historians, III., 3S3. Futuhat-i-Firuz Shdlii. 



measurements together being just equal to one-half of the 
height of the column. The height of the second storey is 
50 feet inches, that of the third storey is 40 feet 9| inches, 
and that of the fourth storey is 25 feet 4 inches, or just one- 
half of the height of the second storey. There are two 
other proportions which may be noticed, as they most pro- 
bably entered into the original design of the building. The 
column, as it stands now, omitting only the stump of the old 
cupola, is just five diameters in height; thus, 47 feet 3 inches, 
multiplied by 5, gives 236 feet 3 inches as the height of the 
column, which is only 2 inches in excess of the mean measure- 
ment. Again, the lower storey is j ust two diameters in height. 
Both of these proportions were, I presume, intentional. But 
there is another coincidence of measurements, which is, I think, 
too curious to have been intentional, namely, that the circum- 
ference of the base is equal to the sum of the diameters 
of the six storeys of the building, the old cupola being 
considered as a sixth storey.* 

As some of the dimensions here given differ from 
those recorded by Ensign Blunt in the Asiatic Researches, it 
is necessary that I should state that they are the mean 
results of two sets of measurements, the first taken by 
myself in 1839, and the other by Sir Erederick Abbott 
in 1S46. I now give these measurements in detail for 
comparison : 

A. D. 1839. 

A. D. 1840. 



Ft. In. 



Ft. In. 

Ft. In. 

Upper storey 

... 21 10 



22 4 

G2 6 

4th „ 

... 25 4 



25 4 

' 23 0 

3rd „ 

... 40 9 



40 H 

40 0 

2nd ,, 

... 50 10 




50 0 

Basement „ 

... 95 3 



94 11 

90 0 

234 0 



234 1 


2 0 



2 0 

23G 0 



236 1 

Stump of old cupola 

2 0 



2 0 

Total present height 







238 1 

242 6 

* H the fifth storey of the original pillar bore the same proportion to the third storey 
of eight-nineteenths which the latter bears to the first storey, then its height would have 
been nearly 17 feet, instead of 13 feet, as mentioned in the previous note. But as the height 
of the steps in each of the four lower storeys averages from 7| to 7 i‘ inches, it is most pro- 
bable that they were of the same dimensions in the fifth storey as they are now, or some- 
what over 7 inches. 



The only way in which I can account for the great 
difference of 5 feet in the height of the lower storey between 
Blunt’s measurements taken in 1794 and the actual height 
as it now stands, is by supposing that there must have been 
an accumulation of rubbish at the foot of the tower which 
would have diminished the actual height of the basement 
storey. His heights of the second and third storeys agree 
very closely with my measurements, but that of the fourth 
storey is more than 2 feet short of the true height. The 
height of the fifth storey is not given. 

In recording Blunt’s measurements Mr. Eergusson has, 
I think, made a mistake in excluding the cupola from the 
ascertained height of 242 feet G inches. Blunt distinctly 
states that the height of the third storey was 180 feet, which, 
deducted from 242^-, will give no less than 62^ feet for the 
height of the two upper storeys. But this height, as we know 
from present measurements, is only 25 feet 4 inches, plus 22 
feet 4 inches, or altogether 47 feet 8 inches, which, deducted 
from 62^ feet, leaves 14 feet 10 inches unaccounted for. I 
conclude, therefore, that this must have been the height of 
the cupola as it stood in A. D. 1794. Accepting this view as 
correct, the true height of the Kutb Minar in 1794 must have 
been 236 feet 1 inch, plus 14 feet 10 inches, or 250 feet 11 

The base or plinth of the Kutb Minar is a polygon of 
24 sides, each side measuring G feet 1-| inches, or altogether 
147 feet. The basement storey has the same number of faces 
formed into convex flutes, which are alternately angular and 
semi-circular. This last fact alone is sufficient to show the 
inaccuracy of Blunt’s description of the plan as a polygon of 
27 sides,* as any uneven number of faces would have brought 
two flutes of the same kind together. In the second storey 
the flutes are all semi-circular, and in the third storey they 
are all angular. The fourth storey is circular and plain, and 
the fifth storey is partially fluted with convex semi-circular 
flutes. Bound the top of each storey runs a bold projecting 
balcony, which is richly and elaborately decorated. The three 
lower storeys are also ornamented with belts of Arabic wait- 
ing, bordered with richly decorated hands. These three 
storeys are built entirely of red sand-stone, but there is a 

* Asiatic Researches of Bengal, IV., 321. 



difference in tlie colours of the stone, that of the second storey 
being generally a pale pinkish huff, while that of the third 
storey is a dark red. The whole of the upper part of the 
fourth storey is built of white marble, and there are also two 
ornamental hands of white marble in the fifth storey. Ac- 
cording to Ibn Batuta,* the pillar was said to have been built 
“ of stones from seven different quaries ;” hut I could not 
trace more than three different kinds of stone, viz., the grey 
quartzose rock of Delhi, the white marble of Jaypur, and the 
red sand-stone of the hills to the south of Delhi. If, however, 
the different colours of the sand-stone he taken into account, 
there are certainly three distinct colours, or huff, pink, and 
red, which may he considered as forming three distinct varie- 
ties of sand-stone. The grey quartzose stone is used only 
in the interior of the building, and the white marble is con- 
fined to the two upper storeys. Inside the pillar there is a 
spiral staircase of 376 steps from the ground level to the 
balcony of the fifth storey. Above this, there are three steps 
more to the present top of the stone-work, which once formed 
the floor of the paltry pavilion which Major Robert Smith 
was allowed to stick on the top of this noble column. 

In 179-4, when Ensign Blunt sketched the Kutb Minar, 
the old cupola of Eiruz Shah was still standing, although 
much ruined. Blunt’s rude sketch, as given in the Asiatic 
Researches, conveys no intelligible idea of the old cupola, 
and is sarcastically compared by Robert Smith to “a large 
stone harp.” A better idea of the old cupola will he formed 
from an aqua-tint view of the pillar given in Blagdon’s “ Brief 
History of India,” which was published about lSOo.f By 
comparing this view with the statement of the Natives that 
the old cupola was a “ plain square top on four stone pil- 
lars,” X I think that it would he quite possible to restore the 
upper part of the pillar in a style that would harmonize with 
the rest of the building. It is difficult, indeed, to conceive 
anything more incongruous than the flimsy Mogul pavilion, 
which Robert Smith fixed on the “ top of this grand and 
massive specimen of Pathan architecture.” In my Note-hook 
of 1S39, I find a remark that “ the balustrades of the 

* Travels by Dr. Lee, p. 111. 

f Most of the views of this book are by Daniell. The value of the letter press may be 
judged by the name given to the pillar, “ Kuttull Minor of Delhi.” 

£ Robert Smith’s Report in Journal, Archeological Society of Delhi 



balconies and the plain slight building on tbe top of tbe pillar 
do not harmonize with the massive and richly ornamented 
Pathan architecture.” Major Smith’s pavilion was taken 
down in 1847 or 1848 by order of Lord Hardinge. I pre- 
sume that this was done at the suggestion of his eldest son, 
the present Lord Hardinge, whose known artistic taste and 
skill would at once have detected the architectural unfitness 
of such a flimsy pavilion for the summit of this noble 

On the 1st of August 1803, the old cupola of the Kutb 
Minar was thrown down, and the whole pillar seriously in- 
jured by an earthquake. A drawing of the pillar, while it 
was in this state, was made by Captain Elliot upwards of 
two years after the earthquake, but the engraving of this 
drawing is too small to show the nature of the balustrades 
of the balconies. About this time the dangerous state of 
the pillar was brought to the notice of the Governor General, 
who authorized the necessary repairs to be begun at once. 
This difficult work was entrusted to Major Robert Smith, of 
the Engineers, and was completed by the beginning of the 
year 1828, at a cost of Es. 17,000, with a further charge of 
more than Es. 5,000 for clearing the ruins around the pillar. 
The intricate nature of some of these repairs can be best 
seen and understood by an examination of Mallitte’s large 
photograph of the lower balcony. All the forms of the 
mouldings have been carefully preserved, but the rich orna- 
mentation has been omitted as too costly, and the new stone- 
work is,, therefore, quite plain throughout. This part of the 
work appears to have been done with much patience and 
skill, and Major Smith deserves credit for the conscientious 
care which he bestowed upon it. But this commendation 
must be confined to the repairs , for the restorations of tbe 
entrance door- way, of the balustrades, and of the cupola, are 
altogether out of keeping with the rest of the pillar. 

It appears from Major Smith’s report that the old 
entrance doorway was still in existence at that time, although 
much broken. This being the case, he should have adhered 
strictly to the original design, instead of which, to use his 
own words, “ the former rude and fractured entrance door of 
the base of the column (was) repaired, and improved with 
new mouldings, frieze , and repair of the inscription tablet.” 
From this statement I infer that the whole of the entrance 



doorway is Smith’s own design, a conclusion which has already 
been drawn by Mr. Eergusson, who denounces this work 
as being C£ in the true style of Strawberry Hill Gothic.” 
Perhaps it may not now he possible to recover the original 
design, but its main features may he ascertained from the 
other three existing doorways. All of these are plain, and 
it is evident from Major Smith’s account that the lower door- 
way was also plain, or, as he calls it, “ rude,” and without 
frieze or mouldings, -which were added by himself. I con- 
fess, therefore, that I should like to see Smith’s doorway 
altogether removed, and the old entrance restored in the 
simple but massive style of the other doorways. The 
entrance of the Koel Minar, which is still in existence, is 
also plain, and might be studied with advantage. 

The flimsy balustrades are even a greater eye-sore than 
the modern entrance, as they form a prominent part in every 
view of the building. But although not ornamental, they 
are useful, and might on that account alone be tolerated. 
It would not, however, be either difficult or expensive to 
remove them, and to furnish new balustrades more in 
harmony with the rich style of the balconies. Ensign Blunt 
describes the old balustrades as “ small battlements ; ” and 
such, I believe, must have been the nature of the original 
balustrades, at once rich and massive, like the battlements 
of the older tombs. The present balustrades might be sold 
with advantage in Delhi, as they belong to the flimsy style 
of garden-house architecture of the present day. 

The history of the Kutb Minar is written in its . inscrip- 
tions. In the basement storey there are six bands or belts of 
inscriptions encircling the tower. The uppermost band con- 
tains only some verses from the Ivoran, and the next below 
it gives the well known ninety -nine Arabic names of the 
Almighty. The third belt contains the name and praises of 
Mudz-uddin , Abul Muzafar , Muhammad Bin Sum. The 
fourth belt contains only a verse from the Koran, and the 
fifth belt repeats the name and praises of the Sultan Muham- 
mad Bin Sam. The lowermost belt has been too much 
injured, both by time and by ignorant restorations, to admit 
of being read, but Syad Ahmad has traced the words “ Amir - 
ul-TJmra, or Chief of the “nobles.” The inscription over 
the entrance doorway records that “ this Minar of Sultan 
Shams-uddin Altamsh having been injured, was repaired during 



the reign of Sikandcr Shah, son of Bahlol, by Fateh Khan, 
the son of Kliawas Khan, in A. H. 909 or A. I). 1503. 

In the second storey the inscription over the doorway 
records that the Emperor Altamsh ordered the completion of 
the Minar. The lowermost belt contains the verses of the 
Koran respecting the summons to prayers on Friday, and the 
upper line contains the praises of the Emperor Altamsh. 
Over the door of the third storey the praises of Altamsh are 
repeated, and again in the belt of inscription round the 
column. In the fourth storey the door inscription records that 
the Minar was ordered to he erected during the reign of 
Altamsh. The inscription over the door of the fifth storey 
states that the Minar having been injured by lightning, was 
repaired by the Emperor Firuz Shah in A. H. 770 or 
A. D. 1368. 

But besides these long inscriptions, which form part of 
the architectural ornament of the pillar, there are a few other 
short records which are worth preserving. On the basement 
storey is recorded the name of Fazzil, son of Abul Muali, the 
Mutawali or high priest ; and on one side of the third storey is 
found the name of Muhammad Amircho, Architect. On the 
same storey, also, there is a short Nagari inscription in one 
line with the name of Muhammad Sultan and the date of 
Samvat 1382 or A. D. 1325, which was the first year of 
Muhammad Tughlak’s reign. On the wall of the fourth 
storey there is another Ndgari inscription, in two lines, which 
is dated in the Samvat year 1425 or A. D. 1368, in the 
reign of JPiroj Sdh, or Firuz Shah Tughlak. A third Nagari 
inscription is found on the south jamb of the doorway of the 
fourth storey, cut partly on the white marble and partly on the 
red sand-stone. This also gives the name of Firuz Shall, but 
the date is one year later than the last, or Samvat 1426. 
This is the longest and most important of the N agari inscrip- 
tions, hut unfortunately it is not in such a state of preserva- 
tion, more especially the upper portion on the white marble, 
as to be easily legible. I can make out the words Sri 
Viswakarma prasdde ruchita , and towards the end I find the 
title of Silpi, or “ Architect,” applied to the son of Chdhada 
Deva Pdla, named Nana salha, who repaired the Minar. 
But in the middle of the inscription I find no less than five 
numbers given in figures, all of which are preceded by the 
word gaj , as gaj 22, gaj 3, gaj 26, gaj 131, and gag 134. I 



infer from these measurements that the inscription may pro- 
bably be of some importance in determining the nature and 
extent of the repairs that were executed by Firuz Shah. 
As I read one passage of this inscription, the Architect was 
obliged to pull down fnipatit) a considerable portion of the 

It now only remains to ascertain who was the actual 
builder of the Kutb Minar. The learned Syad Ahmad 
assigns the original building of the basement storey to Bai 
Pithora, and its adaptation by the Musalmans to Kutb-uddin 
Aibeg. The name and titles of this King were, he thinks, 
engraved in the lowermost band of inscriptions, as the legible 
words of this band correspond with a portion of Aibeg’s 
inscription over the inner arch of the eastern gateway of the 
Great Mosque. The completion of the Minar he assigns to 
Altamsh. The claim of the Hindus has already been fully 
discussed and disposed of as altogether baseless. That of 
Kutb-uddin Aibeg is founded chiefly on the fact that the 
pillar is called by his name, and partly on the fact that the 
name of Muhammad Bin Sam is twice recorded on the lower 
storey of the column. The occurrence of this name makes 
it highly probable that the name of Kutb-uddin Aibeg was 
also engraved on this storey, as argued by Syad Ahmed. 
With these two names engraved on the basement storey it 
seems only natural to conclude that the building of the pillar 
was begun by Aibeg during the life-time of his Suzerain, 
Muhammad Bin Sam, and in full accordance with this con- 
clusion is the statement recorded over the doorway of the 
second storey, that the completion of the pillar was ordered by 
Altamsh. Under this view the building of the Minar may 
have been begun by Aibeg in about A. D. 1200, and com- 
pleted by Altamsh in about 1220. 

The other view which attributes the foundation of the 
pillar to Altamsh is based chiefly, I believe, on the state- 
ments of Abulfeda and Sliams-i-Sirdj, which are supported 
by the inscription of Sikandar Lodi over the entrance 
door of the pillar. Syad Ahmad refers to the inscription 

* I may mention that the sum of the two numbers 22 + 26 = -18 gaj, taken at the value 
of the gaj obtained from the length of Firuz Shah’s Lat, namely, 1 6 094 inches, amounts to 
62 feet 8J inches, which I would compare with the height of the two upper storeys of 62 feet 
6 inches as derived from Lieutenant Blunt’s measurement, taken before the pillar was injured 
by lightning. 



over the doorway of the second storey, which records that 
Altamsh ordered the completion of the Minar, as a proof that 
he did not commence it. But another inscription over the 
doorway of the fourth storey seems to he equally explicit in 
assigning the beginning of the Minar to Altamsh. Both 
Syad Ahmad and Nawab Zia-uddin give the same translation 
of this inscription, namely, that “the erection of this build- 
ing was ordered during the reign of Shamsuddin Altamsh.” 
It is possible, however, that the order recorded in this inscrip- 
tion may refer to the fourth storey only, and as this limited 
view of its meaning will bring the two otherwise conflicting 
inscriptions into strict accord with each other, I think that 
it may be accepted as the most probable intention of the 
inscriber. The statements of Abulfeda, Shams-Siraj, and 
Sikandar Lodi, all of which agree in calling this pillar the 
Minar of Altamsh, may, perhaps, be explained as conveying 
only the popular opinion, and are certainly not entitled to 
the same weight as the two inscriptions on the basement 
storey which record the name and titles of Muhammad Bin 
Sam, the Suzerain of Kutb-uddin Aibeg, whose name is now 
attached to the pillar. The absence of Altamsh’s name in 
the inscription of the lower storey is, I think, a conclusive 
proof that he himself did not claim it as his own work.* 

According to Syad Ahmad, the Emperor Altamsh erected 
five storeys in addition to the basement storey, and another 
storey was afterwards added by Eiruz Shah ; thus making, alto- 
gether, seven storeys, of which he says that “ two have fallen 
down and five remain to this day.’ But’ both of these state- 
ments I’ believe to be quite erroneous, for the mention of 360 
steps by Abulfeda in about A. D. 1300, makes it certain that 
the Minar, as completed by Altamsh, could not have been 
higher than the present one, which has 379 steps. The five 
stories of Altamsh must, therefore, have included the basement 
storey, which, although begun by Aibeg, was most probably 
completed by himself. In this state the Minar must have 
remained until the reign of Eiruz Tughlak, when, having been 
struck by lightning, it was repaired by that Emperor in A. II. 
770, or A. I). 1368. The nature and extent of his repairs 
may, I think, be gathered from the insciptions ; thus, the 
inscription of the fifth storey is placed over the doorway, and 

* The Emperor FiruzSliah, who repaired the pillar, calls it “the Mintira of Muiz-ud-din 
Sam.” — Dowson’s edition of Sir H. M. Elliot’s Historians, III., 383. 



there is no record of any other Emperor on this storey. I 
conclude, therefore, that the whole of the fifth storey was 
re-built by Eiruz Shah. But as there are two inscriptions 
of his reign recorded on the fourth storey, I infer that he 
must have made some repairs to it also, although these 
repairs could not have been extensive, as the inscription 
over the doorway of this storey belongs to the reign of 
Altamsh.* Under this view the Kutb Minar has always 
consisted of five storeys, from the time of its completion by 
Altamsh in about A. D. 1220, down to the present day. 

Of the same age as the Kutb Minar is the tomb of the 
Emperor Altamsh, who died in A. H. 633 or A. D. 1235. 
It is situated just outside the north-west corner of the Great 
Mosque, as enlarged by Altamsh himself. The interior is a 
square of 29^ feet, with walls 7^ feet thick, making the 
exterior a square of 41 feet. The main entrance is to the 
east, but there are also openings to the north and south ; and 
to the west there is a niche, such as is usually found in a 
small mosque. The interior walls are decorated throughout 
with elaborate and highly finished ornament of great beauty. 
There is no roof to the building, hut there is good reason 
to believe that it was originally covered by an overlapping 
Hindu dome. A single stone of one of the overlapping 
circles, with Arabic letters on it, still remains. 

The only other buildings connected with the Great 
Mosque of Delhi are the beautiful south gateway of the 
quadrangle, and the gigantic unfinished Minar, both of which 
were the work of Ala-uddin Khilji, who reigned from A. D. 
1296 to 1316. The south gateway is called by Syad Ahmad 

* See Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1S66, p, 205, where Mr. C. J. Campbell, C. E., 
argues that the whole of the fourth storey was “ newly designed’’ by Firuz Shah. I had 
already come to this conclusion when I re-visited the Kutb Minar in October 1864, and I am 
glad to have my views corroborated by Mr. Campbell, whose long residence at Delhi, and 
early training as a Civil Engineer, give special weight to his opinion on any arcliitectural 
point. He particularly notices that the arches in the two upper storeys have true voussoirs, 
whilst in three lower storeys they are all overlapping Hindu arches. I agree, therefore, with 
Mr. Campbell that “ the old tablet of Altamsh has been simply re-built into the new work of 
Firuz Shah.” But the chief glory of the Kutb Minar lies in its deeply fluted shaft, and its 
exquisite balconies of bold design and delicate tracery. All these, it seems, we owe to a 
new claimant whose name has not yet been mentioned. Speaking of the new Minar which 
Ala-uddin Khilji had ordered to be built, Amir Khusru states that he also “directed that a new 
casing and cupola should be added to the old one.” — Tarikh-i-Alai in Dowson’s edition of Sir 
H. M. Elliot’s Historians, III., 70. From this I conclude that the whole of the present red 
stone facing was added by Ala-uddin, and that to his reign we must assign all that is rich 
and beautiful in its decoration, while the design alone belongs to the time of Kutb-uddin 



the Alai Darwdza' or “ Gate of Ala-uddin but this appella- 
tion is not known to the people. The age of the building is, 
however, quite certain, as the name of Ala-uddin is several 
times repeated in the Arabic inscriptions over three of the 
entrances, with the addition of his well known title of 
SiJcandar Sani, and the date of A. H. 710 or A. D. 1310. 
This date had already been anticipated, from the style of the 
building, by Mr. Fergusson, who considered the gateway as 
at least a century more modern than the tomb of Altamsh. 
The building is a square of 34^ feet inside, and 56^ feet 
outside, the walls being 11 feet thick. On each side there is 
a lofty doorway, with a pointed horse-shoe arch ; the outer 
edge of the arch being fretted, and the underside panelled. 
The corners of the square are cut off by bold niches, the 
head of each niche being formed by a series of five pointed 
horse-shoe arches, lessening in size as they retire towards the 
angle. The effect of this arrangement is massive and beauti- 
ful, and justly merits the praise which Mr. Fergusson* had 
bestowed upon it, as “ more simply elegant than any other 
Indian example with which he was acquainted.” The 
interior walls are decorated with a chequered pattern of 
singular beauty. In each corner there are two windows of 
the same shape and style as the doorways, but only one-third 
of their size. These are closed by massive screens of marble 
lattice-work. The exterior walls are panelled and inlaid 
with broad bands of white marble, the effect of which is 
certainly pleasing. The walls are crowned by a battlemented 
parapet and surmounted by a hemispherical dome. For 
the exterior view of the building this dome is, perhaps, too 
low, but the interior view is perfect, and, taken altogether, 

I consider that the gateway of Ala-uddin is the most beauti- 
ful specimen of Patkan architecture that I have seen. 

The unfinished Minar of Ala-uddin stands due north 
from the Kutb Minar at a distance of 425 feet. This massive 
pillar as it stands at present is built wholly of the rough 
shapeless grey stone of the country, and the surface is so 
uneven that there can be no doubt it was the Architect’s 
intention either to have faced it with red stone, or to have 
covered it with plaster. The Minar stands upon a plinth 4| 

* Hand-book of Architeeure, I., 433. 



feet in. width, and the same in height, which is raised upon a 
terrace 21 feet in breadth and 7^ in height. The rough mass 
of the superstructure is 257 feet in circumference, and 82 feet 
in diameter ; hut with a facing of red stone, this diameter 
would have been increased to at least 85 feet, or nearly double 
that of the Kuth Minar, as is usually stated by the people.* 
The entrance is on the east side, and on the north, at same 
height, there is a window intended to light the spiral stair- 
case. But the steps were never commenced, and there is 
only a circular passage 9 feet 9 inches wide around the central 
pillar, which is 26 feet in diameter. The thickness of the 
outer wall is 18 feet 3 inches, the whole pillar being 82 feet 
in diameter, as noted above. The total height of the column, 
as it now stands, is about 75 feet above the plinth, or 87 
feet about the ground level. The outer face of the wall is 
divided into 32 sides of 8 feet and ^ inch each. The form 
of each face or flute is difficult to describe, but it may be 
likened to the shape of a crown work in fortification, or to 
that of an old Boman M with shallow body and long widely- 
splayed limbs. I think, it probable that the central angle 
of each face, as it now exists in the rough stone, would have 
been modified in the red stone facing into a shallow curved 
flute. The flutes would have been 4 feet wide and 4 feet 
apart, with a deep angle between them. The plinth is also 
divided into 32 straight faces, or projections, which are 
separated by the same number of depressions of equal 
breadth, the whole being exactly like a gigantic cogwheel. 
Syad Ahmad states that the building of this Minar was 
commenced in A. H. 711 or A. D. 1311 ; but as Ala-uddin 
did not die until A. D. 1316, the work was probably stopped 
some time before the end of his reign. I suspect, indeed, 
that the work was actually stopped in the following year, 
as I find from Berishta that in A. D. 1312 the King became 
so extremely ill that his wife and son entirely neglected 
him, while his Minister exercised all the powers of the State, 
and even aspired to the throne. As the King never rallied, 
it seems not improbable that all the expensive works of Ala- 
uddin then in progress may have been stopped by the 
Minister, who wished to secure the money for himself. 

* Amir Khusru, in his Tarikh-i-Alai, distinctly states that he ordered the circumfer- 
ence of the new Minar to be double that of the old one, and to make it higher in the same, 




The Port of Siri, with Ala-uddin’s celebrated palace ol 
“ The Thousand Pillars,” has been identified by Messrs. Cope 
and Lewis, and also by Lieutenant Burgess, the Surveyor of 
the ruins of Delhi, with the citadel of Bai Pithora' s fort, in 
the midst of which stands the Kutb Minar. But in describ- 
ing this fort I have already brought forward strong reasons 
to show that it was the ancient Lcilhot of Anang Pal, and 
I now propose to follow up the same argument by proving 
that the true site of Siri was the old ruined fort to the north- 
east of Bai Pithora’s fort, which is at present called Shahpur. 
A glance at the Sketch Map of the ruins of Delhi,* which 
accompanies this account, is all that is necessary to make 
the following argument quite clear. 

Sharaf-uddin, the historian of Timur, describes Delhi 
as consisting of three cities, and as quite distinct from Piruza- 
had, near which the conqueror’s camp was pitched. These 
three cities were Siri, Jahdn-pandh, and old Delhi. To the 
north-east was Siri, the walls of which formed a circle, and 
to the south-west was old Delhi, similar in form but larger 
than Siri, and the space between the two forts, which was 
much larger than old Delhi, was Jahdn-pandh. The rela- 
tive sizes and positions of the three cities are here so 
accurately described that it is quite impossible to mistake 
them. Siri answers exactly to Shahpur, not only in size 
and position, hut also in shape ; for, though not circular, it 
is certainly oval. To the south-west of Shahpur lies the fort 
of Bai Pithora, which, therefore, corresponds exactly with the 
old Delhi of Sharaf-uddin, both in its size and in its position, 
and somewhat also in its form, which may he described 
as an oblong square with tbe corners cut off. Tlie name 
of old Delhi was appropriately applied to tbe fort of B,ai 
Pithora as by far the most ancient of the three cities. 
Between Siri and old Delhi was Jahdn-pandh, a name which 
is still applied to the old walled city between Shahpur and 
Bai Pithora’s fort ; and as the size of this city is more than 
double that of Bai Pitbora’s fort, there can be no doubt what- 
ever of its identity with the Jahan-panah of former days. 

I now turn to Perishta’s account of Turghai Khan’s 
invasion of India during the reign of Ala-uddin, the founder 

* See Plate Xo. XXXV. 



of Siri. In. A. H. 703 or A. D. 1303 the Mogul Chief 
reached Delhi with 120,000 horse and encamped on tlie 
bank of the Jumna, most probably about the spot where 
Humayun’s tomb now stands, as that is the nearest point of 
the river towards old Delhi. “ The King,” as Eerishta 
relates, “ was in no condition to face the enemy on equal 
terms, and, therefore, contented himself with entrenching his 
infantry on the plain beyond the suburbs till he could 
collect the forces of the distant districts.” But after the 
lapse of two months the Mogul troops were seized with a 
panic, and retreated precipitately to their own country. 
The historian then relates that ct Ala-uddin, relieved from the 
perils of this invasion, caused a palace to he built on the 
spot where he had entrenched himself, and directed the 
citadel of old Delhi to he pulled down and built anew.”* 
Now the spot where the King entrenched himself may he 
fixed with some precision, partly from Eerishta’s description 
that it was outside the suburbs, and partly from the strategi- 
cal consideration that it must have been on the north-east 
side facing towards the enemy, and covering the city. On 
this side the suburbs of old Delhi extended for a consider- 
able distance. We know, also, that they were without walls, 
because the Moguls plundered them during their stay, and 
because they were afterwards enclosed by Muhammad 
Tughlak, when they received the separate name of Jahan- 
panah. Immediately in front of these suburbs, and facing 
towards the enemy, is the old ruined fort of Shahpur, and 
inside the western half of this fort there still exist the re- 
mains of a large palace and other buildings. This should 
be the site of the celebrated Kasr-Razar-Sutdn, or “ Palace 
of One Thousand Pillars,” otherwise Razar Mindr , or 
“ thousand minarets,” which Ala-uddin built on the spot 
where he had entrenched himself. 

There is yet one more evidence which I can bring forward 
in favour of the identification of Siri with Shahpur. In the 
Ain Akbari it is related that Shir Shah destroyed the city built 
by Ala-uddin, which was called Siri, and founded another.! 
Again, in the Araish-i-Malifil it is recorded that Shir Shah 
pulled down the Kusliak Sahz, or the “ Green Palace,” and 

* Brigg’s translation, I., 354. 
t Gladwin’s translation, II., 86. 



built a new city. Syad Alimacl repeats the same story, 
adding that the materials of the old fort and palace of Siri 
were used in the construction of the new fort of Shir-Shah- 
Kot. Erom these accounts it is quite certain that Siri 
cannot he identified with the citadel that surrounds the 
Kutb Minar, for the walls of Siri were pulled down 
and the materials removed by Shir Shah, while the walls 
of the Kutb Minar Citadel are still standing. And, further, 
it seems almost certain that Sh&hpur must be Siri, because 
of its vicinity to the new site of Shir Shah’s fort, for it is 
hardly possible to believe that the King would have brought 
his building stones from the Kutb Minar, a distance of seven 
miles, when he could have obtained them from Shalipur, 
which is only half the distance. That he did obtain his 
materials from the latter place, and not from the former, may 
be regarded as almost certain, for the very sufficient reason 
that the walls of Shahpur have actually been removed, while 
those of the Kutb Citadel are still standing. 

The only evidence in favour of the identification of 
Siri with the Kutb Citadel is the fact which Eerishta records, 
that the citadel of old Delhi was re-built by Ala-uddin, and 
the existence near the Kutb Minar of the remains of an 
old Palace, which still bears this King’s name.* As the 
historian does not mention the new city of Siri, it would 
seem to have been inferred that the re-building of the citadel 
of old Delhi was only a perverted account of the founding 
of the new city of Siri. I see no reason, however, why 
Eerishta’s statement should not be accepted exactly as it 
stands, for, on summing up the works of Ala-uddin, he 
records t that, during liis reign, “ Palaces, Mosques, Uni- 
versities, Baths, Mansolea, Forts, and all kinds of public- 
and private buildings seemed to rise as if by magic.” As 
from this account it would appear that Ala-uddin built 
more than one fort, and founded more than one palace, 
I see no difficulty in assigning to him the building of the 
palace near the Kutb Minar, and the re-building of the 
citadel of old Delhi, as well as the founding of the new 
city of Siri and its celebrated Palace of Kasr-Eazdr-sutun, 
or “ The Thousand Pillars.” Much stress has been laid upon 
another statement made by Eerishta regarding the meeting 

* According to Lieutenant Burgess’ Map of the ftuins of Delhi. 

f Brigg’s translation, I., 355. 

c 2 



of Nusrat Shall ancl Mnllu Khan in the Palace of Siri at the 
tomb of Khwaja Kutb-uddin Baklitiar Kaki. But this state- 
ment, and others connected with the confused history of this 
period, only shows that Perishta was not well acquainted 
with the topography of ancient Delhi. Thus he records that 
Mahmud Shah occupied old Delhi , and Nusrat Shah held 
Firuzcibad, while Siri was in the possession of Mullu Khan 
and other Nobles who professed neutrality. He then relates 
that Mullu made overtures to Nusrat, who came to Siri, when 
a mutual compact was sworn at the tomb of Khwaja Kutb- 
uddin in Siri. But as this tomb is close to the Kutb Minar, 
and within the walls of the citadel of old Delhi, which was 
then held by Mahmud, it would have been impossible for 
Nusrat and Mullu to have met there.* * * § I would suggest 
that the place of meeting may have been the shrine of the 
famous Saint called Chiragh Delhi, or the “Lamp of Delhi,” 
which is just outside the south-east comer of Shahpur or 

My identification of Siri with Shahpur has been con- 
tested by Mr. C. J. Campbell, c. E.t I have now gone over 
the whole subject again very carefully, and I have found the 
most ample, complete, and satisfactory evidence of the 
absolute correctness of my identification. A brief abstract 
of the principal facts is all that need be given in this place : 

1st. — Whenever Siri is mentioned before Ala-uddin built 
his fort in A. H. 703, it is described as a plain outside the city 
of Delhi, on which armies encamp. Thus Amir Khusru 
states that the left wing of the army of Kaikubad in t A. H. 
687 was encamped at Indrpat, the centre at Siri, and 
the right wing at Tilpat4 Siri was, therefore, just half way 
between Indrpat and Tilpat, which corresponds exactly with 
the position of Shahpur. 

2nd— In A. H. 695, when Ala-uddin, after the murder of 
his uncle, advanced against Delhi, he encamped on the plain 
of Siri, while his cousin Kukn-uddin Ibrahim still held 
Delhi. § 

* Note. — I would suggest that Ferishta may have substituted the name of liakhtiar 
Kaki, who was commonly called Roshan Zamir for that of Roshan Chirdjh, whose fame was 
more local. 

f Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1866, p. 206. 

X Elliot, III., 525. 

§ Zia-uddin Barni in Elliot, III., 160. 



3rd, — In A. It. 697, when Kutlugli Kliwaja advanced 
against Delhi, great anxiety prevailed because the old forti- 
fications had not been kept in repair. The people crowded 
into the city ; hut “ the Sultan marched out of Delhi, with 
great display and pitched his tent in Siri.* * * § 

4 th . — On a second invasion of the Moguls “ the Sultan 
again left the city and encamped at Siri, where the superior 
numbers and strength of the enemy compelled him to 
entrench his camp.”f 

5 th . — After this, says Barni, he “built a palace at 
Siri. He took up his residence there, and made it his 
capital, so that it became a flourishing place. He ordered 
the fort of Delhi to he repaired.” Amir Khusrui also men- 
tions the building of the new fort of Delhi, and the repairs 
of the old one. From Ahul Pazl we learn that “ Sultan 
Ala-uddin built another city and a new fort which they called 
Siri.” § 

( Mh . — Ibn Batutaj] says, cc |Dar ul Ivhilafat Siri was a totally 
separate and detached town, situated at such a distance from 
old Delhi as to necessitate the construction of the walls of 
Jah&n-panah, to bring them within a defensive circle ; and 
that the Hauz-i-kh&s intervened, in an indirect line, between 
the two localities.” Ibn Batuta was one of the Magistrates 
of Delhi about 30 years after Alau-ddin’s death; and the 
Hauz-i-Khas still exists to the west of the direct road 
between Shahpur and Kila Bai Pith ora, that is, between Siri 
and old -Delhi. 

7 th. — Barni^f states that the fort of Siri was finished 
during the life-time of Ala-uddin, and from Amir Khusru** we 
learn that Mubarak ee ordered the completion of the fort and 
city of Delhi begun by his father (Ala-uddin), that is, Lalkot, 
and Kila Bai Pithora, which the father had ordered to be 

* Barni in Elliot, III., 166. 

f Barni in Elliot, III., 190. 

X Elliot, III., 70. 

§ Thomas’ Chronicles of Pathan Kings, p. 285, note. 

|| French translation, Tom., III., 146, 155, quoted by Thomas. 
If Elliot, III., 200. 

*# Elliot, III., 561. 



8 th . — Barni describes Siri as a “ spacious and extensive 
plain,” and states that liis uncle, the Kotwal of Delhi, advised 
the Emperor to erect a villa at Siri where he would be able 
“ to take his hawks and fly them.”* 

9 th . — It is unnecessary to multiply the proofs that Siri 
was not the citadel of old Delhi, which now surrounds the 
Kutb Minar. I will, therefore, close this note with a clear 
and vivid description of Delhi, taken from the autobiography 
of Timur, f “ When my mind was no longer occupied with 
the destruction of the people of Delhi, I took a ride round 
the cities. Siri is a round city. Its buildings are lofty ; they 
are surrounded by fortifications built of stone and brick, and 
they are very strong ; old Delhi also has a similar strong fort, 
but it is larger than that of Siri. Erom the fort of Siri to 
that of old Delhi, which is a considerable distance, there 
runs a strong wall built of stone and cement. The part 
called Jahan-panah is situated in the midst of the inhabited 
city. The fortifications of the three cities have 30 gates, 
Jahan-panah has 13 gates, seven on the south side bearing 
towards the east, and six on the north side bearing towards 
the west. Siri has seven gates, four towards the outside, 
and three on the inside towards Jahan-panah. The 
fortifications of old Delhi have 10 gates, some opening to- 
wards the exterior, and some towards the interior of the 
city.” This extract corroborates the account which I have 
given in the text from Sharaf-ud-din. 

The next monuments in point of time are the grand old 
fort of Tughlakabad, with the tomb of its founder Tughlak 
Shah, and the castle of his son Mahammad, called Adilabad, 
and the city named Jahan-panah. 

The fort of Tughlakabad may be described, with toler- 
able accuracy, as a half hexagon in shape, with three faces 
of rather more than three-quarters of a mile in length each, 
and a base of one mile and-a-half, the whole circuit being only 
one furlong less than four miles. The fort stands on a rocky 
height, and is built of massive blocks of stone, so large and 
heavy that they must have been quarried on the spot. The 
largest stone which I observed measured 14 feet in length 

* Major Fuller’s translation in Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1869, p. 209. 
+ Malfuzat-i-Timuri, in Elliot, 111., 447. 



by two feet two inches and one foot ten inches in breadth and 
thickness, and must have weighed rather more than six tons. 
The short faces to the west, north, and east, are protected by 
a deep ditch, and the long face to the south hv a large sheet 
of water, which is held up by an embankment at the south- 
east corner. On this side the rock is scarped, and above it 
the main walls rise to a mean height of 40 feet, with a 
parapet of seven feet, behind which rises another wall of 15 
feet, the whole height above the low ground being upwards of 
90 feet. In the south-west angle is the citadel, which occupies 
about one-sixth of the area of the fort, and contains the 
ruins of an extensive palace. The ramparts are raised, as 
usual, on a line of domed-rooms, which rarely communicate 
with each other, and wdiich, no doubt, formed the quarters of 
the troops that garrisoned the fort. The walls slope rapidly 
inwards, even as much as those of Egyptian buildings. The 
rampart walls are pierced with loop-holes, which serve also to 
give light and air to the soldiers’ quarters. The parapets are 
pierced with low sloping loop-holes, wdiich command the 
foot of the wall, and are crowned with a line of rude battle- 
ments of solid stone, which are also provided with loop-holes. 
The walls are built of large plainly dressed stones, and there 
is no ornament of any kind. But the vast size, the great 
strength, and the visible solidity of the whole give to 
Tughlakabad an air of stern and massive grandeur that is 
both striking and impressive. 

The Eort of Tughlakabad has 13 gates, and there are 
three inner gates to the citadel. It contains seven tanks for 
water, besides the ruins of several large buildings, as the 
Jama Masjid and the Birij Mandir. The upper part of the 
fort is full of ruined houses, but the low r er part appears as 
if it had never been fully inhabited. Syad Ahmad states that 
the fort was commenced in A. D. 1321 and finished in 
1323, or in the short period of two years. It is admitted by 
all that the w r ork was completed by Tughlak himself ; and as 
his reign lasted for only four years, from 1321 to 1325, the 
building of the fort must have been pushed forward with 
great vigour. 

The fine Tomb of Tughlak Shah was built by his son 
Muhammad, who is not without suspicion of having caused 
his father’s death. In A. I). 1304, during the reign of 
Ala-uddin, a second army of 4,000 Mogul horse burst into 



the Panjab and plundered the country as far as Amroha, in 
Rohilkhand, but they were defeated with great slaughter by 
Tughlak Khan, who, as a reward for his sendees, was ap- 
pointed Governor of the Panjab. In the following year a 
third Mogul Army of 57,000 horse invaded India and 
ravaged Multan ; but this army was also defeated by Tughlak 
with such tremendous slaughter that it is said only 3,000 
prisoners survived the defeat. Towards the end of the same 
year, a fourth inavsion of Moguls was driven hack by the 
same able commander, whose very name at last inspired such 
terror amongst the Moguls that the women made use of it 
to quiet their children ; and whenever a man showed any 
alarm, his companions would ask “ why do you start ? Have 
you seen Tughlak ?” Prom A. D. 1305 to 1321 Ghazi Beg 
Tughlak was Governor of the Panjab, residing some times at 
Labor, and some times at Depalpur and Multan. In the Port 
of Multan he built a magnificent tomb for himself, which 
exists to this day under the title of Rokn-i-alam, a name 
derived from Puikn-uddin, a very holy Saint of those days, 
the son of Bah&-uddin Zakaria, more commonly called 
Bahawal Hak. The people of Multan say that Muhammad 
presented the tomb to Bukn-uddin to secure his silence in 
the matter of his father’s death ; hut agreeably to another 
version, Tughlak himself had incurred the displeasure of 
Raikn-uddin by an attempt to carry otf one of his women. The 
angry Saint prophesied that he would never reach Delhi, 
and accordingly he was killed near Tilpat just as he was 
about to enter Delhi. There may, perhaps, he some truth in 
this tradition, as we learn from Ibn Batuta* that Bukn- 
uddin was the most noted Saint in India, and that his fame 
had extended even to Alexandria. Under any circumstances 
it was politic to conciliate the good-will of this influential 
personage, and the worthy Saint himself was no doubt 
highly gratified with the magnificence of the gift. In Delhi 
itself the death of Tughlak is attributed to another Saint, 
the famous Nizam -uddin Auliya, some of whose labourers 
had been seized to work on the walls of Tughlakabad. The 
holy man remonstrated angrily, and his words were conveyed 
to Tughlak then absent in Bengal, who remarked that, on 
his return to Delhi, he would humble the proud Saint. The 
threat was told to Nizam-uddin, who merely remarked — “ he 

* Travels, pp. 7 — 101. 



will never return to Delhi.” When the Emperor left Bengal 
on his return to the capital the Saint was reminded of his 
prophecy, to which he replied “ Delhi is far off ( Dilili dur 
ast, or J)ihli dur hai). As the Emperor approached nearer 
and nearer, he made the same remark ; and even when he had 
reached Afghanpur within four miles of Tughlakahad, he 
repeated his former words “ Delhi is far off,” — Tughlak was 
killed at Afghanpur, and the words of the holy man became 
a proverb, which is still in common use. Nizam -uddin died 
a few years afterwards, and his tomb was erected at the 
expense of Muhammad, out of gratitude, as the people say, 
for his assistance in placing him on the throne. 

I have referred to this earlier tomb of Tughlak, which 
still exists in the fort of Multan, as it is the oldest building 
that I have seen with the rapidly sloping walls, which form 
the most prominent feature of the Delhi tomb. The Bokn- 
i-alam, however, is octagonal, with small towers at the 
angles, and is, besides, a much larger building, the inside 
diameter being 56 feet, and the outer diameter 76 feet. But 
the Multan tomb is built entirely of brick, while the Delhi 
tomb is built throughout of stone, and is ornamented with 
white marble. 

The tomb of Tughlak Shah is situated outside the 
southern wall of Tughlakabad, in the midst of the artificial 
lake already described, and is surrounded by a pentagonal out- 
work, which is connected with the fortress by a causeway 
600 feet in length, supported on 27 arches. The stern beauty 
and massive strength of this tomb have justly elicited the 
following warm praises of Mr. Eergusson :* “ The sloping 
walls and almost Egyptian solidity of this Mausoleum, com- 
bined with the bold and massive towers of the fortification 
that surround it, form a picture of a warrior’s tomb un- 
rivalled anywhere.” In this praise I heartily concur, with 
only one reservation in favour of the situation of the Multan 
tomb, which, besides being both larger and loftier, is placed 
on the very top of the fort close to the northern wall. 

In plan the Delhi tomb is a square of 38| feet interior 
and 6T| feet exterior dimensions. The outer walls are 38-|- 
feet in height to the top of the battlement, with a slope of 

* Hand-book of Architecture, I. — 434. 



2333 inches per foot. At this rate the whole slope is 7| 
feet in 38^ feet. The walls at base are 11^ feet thick, and 
at top only 4 feet, but the projecting mouldings of the in- 
terior increase the thickness of wall at the springing of the 
dome to about 6 or 7 feet, or perhaps more, for I had no 
means of making measurements so high up. The diameter 
of the dome is about 34 feet inside and about 44 feet out- 
side, with a height of 20 feet. The whole height of the 
tomb to the top of the dome is 70 feet, and to the top of the 
pinnacle about 80 feet. 

Each of the four sides has a lofty doorway in the middle, 
24 feet in height, with a pointed liorse-slioe arch fretted on 
the outer edge. There is a smaller doorway, only 5 feet 10 
inches in width, hut of the same form, in the middle of each 
of the great entrances, the archway being filled with a white 
marble lattice screen of hold pattern. The decoration of the 
exterior depends chiefly on difference of colour, which is 
effected by the free use of hands and borders of white marble, 
w r ith a few panels of black marble, on the large sloping sur- 
faces of red-stone. The liorse-slioe arches are of wdiite mar- 
ble, and a broad band of the same goes completely round the 
building at the springing of the arches. Another broad band 
of white marble in upright slabs, 4 feet in height, goes all 
round the dome just above its springing. The present effect 
of this mixture of colours is certainly pleasing, but I believe 
that much of its beauty is due to the mellowing hand of 
time, which has softened the crude redness of the sand-stone, 
as well as the dazzling whiteness of the marble. The building 
itself is in very good order, but the whole interior of the 
little fort in which it stands is filled with filthy hovels and 
dirty people, and the place reeks with ordure of every 
description. I would strongly recommend that the whole of 
these hovels should be removed, and the interior of the fort 
cleaned.* The people might be located in Tughlakabad, only 
200 yards to the north, where there are hundreds of domed- 
rooms under the ramparts, all in good repair and quite 

Inside the Mausoleum there are three tombs, which are 
said to be those of Tughluk Shah and his Queen, and their 

* This removal has since been carried into effect by the late able and energetic Com- 
missioner, Colonel G. W. Hamilton. 



son Juna-Khan, who took the name of Muhammad when he 
ascended the throne. This Prince was the most accomplished 
of all the Patlian Sovereigns of India ; but he was also the 
most inhumanly cruel and most madly tyrannical of them all. 
His cruelties were witnessed by his cousin and successor Piruz 
Tughlak, who adopted one of the most curious expedients 
which the mind of man has ever conceived for obtaining the 
pardon of his tyrannical predecessor. I quote the words of 
Piruz himself, as given by Perishta,* from the inscriptions on 
the Great Mosque of Piruzabad. “ I have also taken pains 
to discover the surviving relations of all persons who suffered 
from the wrath of my late Lord and Master Muhammad 
Tughlak , and, having pensioned and provided for them, 
have caused them to grant their full pardon and forgiveness 
to that Prince in the presence of the holy and learned men 
of this age, whose signatures and seals, as witnesses, are 
affixed to the documents, the whole of which, as far as lay 
in my power, have been procured and put into a box, and 
deposited in the vault in which Muhammad Tughlak is en- 
tombed.”! This strange device of placing the vouchers in 
the tomb ready for the dead man’s hand to pick up at the last 
day is as hold as it is original. It would he interesting to read 
some of these documents, which are, in all probability, still 
quite safe, as all the tombs appear to he in the most perfect 

Another work attributed to Muhammad Tughlak is the 
small detached fort of Adilabad or Muhammadahad, near 
the south-east corner of Tughlakabad, with which it was 
once connected by a double wall along the causeway which 
crosses the intervening low ground. This fort is built in the 
same style as Tughlakabad, but it is a very small place, as the 
exterior line of works is not more than half a mile in circuit. 

But the greatest work of Muhammad Tughlak was the 
fortification of the extensive suburbs of Delhi, lying between 

* Briggs, I — 464. 

f The same statement is made by Firuz in his autobiography — “ Under the guidance 
of the Almighty, I arranged that the heirs of those persons who had been executed in the 
reign of my late lord and patron Sultan Muhammad Shah, and those who had been 
deprived of a limb, nose, eye, hand, or foot, should be reconciled to the late Sultan, and 
be appeased with gifts, so that they executed deeds declaring their satisfaction, duly attested 
by witnesses. These deeds were put into a chest, which was placed in the Dar-ul-dm&n at 
the head of the tomb of the late Sultan in the hope that God, in His great clemency, would 
show mercy to my late friend and patron, and make those persons feel reconciled to him. — 
See Elliot’s Muhammadan Historians III., 385. — Fu.t'&h&t-i-Firuz Shdhi. 



the Hindu fort of Hai Pitliora and the Musalman Citadel 
of Siri. These suburbs had been plundered by the Moguls 
in the early part of the reign of Ala-uddin, and their un- 
protected state fully justified the vast outlay which the King 
must have incurred upon their defences. The north-west 
wall is If mile in length, the east wall is If mile, and the 
south wall is 2 miles ; the whole length of the walls being 
just 5 miles, or somewhat more than the circuit of the fort 
of Rai Pitliora. A considerable portion of the south wall 
still exists ; hut the east and north-west walls have been 
pulled down, and are now only traceable by their ruins. 
Sharaf-uddin states that Jah&n-panali had 13 gates, 6 being 
to the north-west and 7 to the south-west. 

Having now described the seven forts of old Delhi, I will 
complete the account with a detail of the number of gates 
in each of the forts, which together make up the total of 
“ 52 gates,” as recorded by the old English traveller William 
Pinch, and as preserved by the people down to the present 
day in their pithy description of Sat-kila Bdwan-Darwaza 
or “ seven forts and 52 gates.” 


Ldllcot of Anting Pal, towards Itai Pitliora ... 4 

Fort of Rai Pithora, and Lalkot outside ... 10 

Total of Hindu Dilli 
Siri of Ala-uddin 
Jahan-panah of Muhammad 

14 gates. 



Total of Musalman Delhi 

.20 gates. 

Total of old Delhi 
Citadel of ditto 

34 gates. 

Total of Tughlakabad 


Total number 

52 gates. 

The next remains in point of antiquity are the buildings 
of Piruz Tughlak, who devoted the greater part of a long 
reign of nearly 40 years (A. D. 1351 to 1388) to the com 
struction of numerous works, of which all but 20 palaces, 
10 monumental pillars, and 5 tombs, may be called works 



of real public utility. Perhaps the most useful of these 
works was the canal which he drew from the west bank of 
the Jumna to supply his new Capital of Piruzabad with 
water. This canal, having become choked from neglect, was- 
cleared out by Ali Mardan Khan in the reign of Shahjahan 
to furnish the Mogul’s new Capital with water. Having 
again become choked, it was once more cleared out and 
improved by the British Government, and it is still flowing 
through modem Delhi under the name of the Western 
Jumna Canal. 

But the most extensive work of Piruz was the building 
of the new city of Mruzabad, with its two palaces of KushaJc 
Firuzabad and Kushak Shikar. Major Lewis has published 
much interesting information regarding this new city from 
the Persian of Shams-i-Sirdj AJif, who was contemporary 
with the latter end of this Emperor’s reign. The new city 
was begun in the year A. H. 755, or A. D. 1354. It ex- 
tended from the fort of Indrpat to the Kushak Shikar , or, 
hunting palace, a length of five kos. Now the distance 
from old Delhi is said to be also five, kos, which fixes the 
position of the Kushak Shikar approximately on the low range 
of hills to the north-west of the modern Shabjahanabad. 
But the exact position is absolutely determined by the men- 
tion that the second stone pillar from Mirat was erected 
within the precincts of the palace, as the stone pillar is now 
lying in five pieces on the top of the hill close to Hindu 
Kao’s house. Shams-i- Siraj adds that the whole distance 
from Indrpat to the Kushak Shikar was occupied by stone- 
houses, mosques, and bazars, but as the limits noted above 
include the whole of the modern Shalijahanabad, it is very 
improbable that the entire space was actually occupied. It 
is certain, however, that some considerable portion of the 
site of Shabjahanabad was well populated as the Kdla Masjid , 
which was built in Piruz’s reign, is situated at some distance 
within the Turkoman Gate of the present city. But even if 
thinly inhabited, the population of Piruzabad could not have 
been less than that of Shahjahanabad, as it was more than 
double its size. The number of inhabitants would, therefore,., 
have been about 150,000 ; and if we add 100,000 more for 
the population of old Delhi, the total number of inhabitants 
in the Indian Metropolis during the reign of Piruz Shah, 
must have amounted, to one quarter of a. million. 



The palace of Firuzabad, which formed also the citadel 
of the new city, was strongly fortified with massive stone 
walls and towers of more than Egyptian slope. One of the 
gateways, which still exists, between the well known Ldl 
Darwdzci and Firuz Shah’s Pillar, is a fine specimen of this 
bold, but rude, architecture. I believe, however, that we 
now see these old buildings under very favourable circum- 
stances, as time has most effectually stripped off all the 
flaring and gaudily coloured plaster which the taste of those 
days so much delighted in. I found it impossible to trace 
the exact size or shape of Firuz Shah’s Citadel, as many of 
the parts in the best preservation appear to me to be of 
decidedly later date. Thus the Kabuli Gate or Ldl Luncdza^ 
as it is now called from its red colour, is of quite a different 
style of architecture, and belongs, as I believe, to the time 
of Shir Shah of whose city it formed the northern or Kabul 
Gate. From what I was able to trace, my opinion is that 
Firuz Shah’s palace was much smaller than the palace of 
Shah] alum in the modern city. 

A characteristic and favourable specimen of the archi- 
tecture of this age is the Kdla Masjid, or “ Black Mosque,” 
which is situated inside the present city, at a short distance 
from the Turkoman Gate. A detailed account of this building 
has been published by Messrs. Lewis and Cope.* According 
to these authors, the original name was most probably the 
Kaldn Masjid or “ Great Mosque.” This is no doubt 
correct, as, when I first visited this Mosque in February 1838, 
the people in charge called it by that name. The common 
name, however, is the Kdla Masjid. But I am quite 
satisfied that this could not have been the original name, as 
the taste of those days would most assuredly have covered 
the whole building with a coating of coloured plaster. The 
present name of Kdla Masjid could not therefore have been 
given to it until most of the plaster had fallen off, and the 
bare walls of dark-grey quartzose sand-stone had become 

The Kdla Masjid is a single room 71 feet in length by 
11 feet in breadth, with two rows of four pillars each down the 
centre, and one row of coupled pillars along the front. These 
columns divide the whole area into 15 squares, each of which 

* Bengal Asiatic Society’s Journal, 1S17, p. 577. 



is covered by a small dome, the central dome being somewhat 
higher than the others. The walls are six feet thick, with 
three openings at each end, closed by massive red stone 
lattice-work. In front of the building there is a small open 
quadrangle, of the same dimensions as the interior of the 
Mosque, and on three sides of the quadrangle there are clois- 
ters which are continued round the Mosque itself. The whole 
is enclosed by an outer wall 5 feet thick, which forms an 
oblong block of building 110 feet in length by 120 feet in 
breadth. On the outside the building consists of two storeys, 
the middle of the lower storey being a solid mass, which forms 
the floor of the Masjid. The four faces of the lower storey 
have two rows of small rooms, which are now rented to petty 
shop-keepers. This is the invariable practice at present, and 
was, no doubt, the same in the time of Tiruz, as the money 
thus obtained always formed the principal revenue, and even- 
tually became the only income of the attendants of a Mosque. 
The lower storey is 28 feet in height, and the upper storey to 
the top of the battlements is 38 feet, making a total height 
of 66 feet. The four angles are supported by small round 
towers with sloping walls as plain and bare as the rest of 
the building. The entrance to the upper storey is reached by 
a steep flight of steps, at the head of which, but outside the 
general mass of building, is a domed ante-room of small 
dimensions. The walls of the upper storey are pierced with a 
row of arched openings which correspond in number and size 
with the doorways of the lower storey. These were once 
filled with bold strong lattice-work, but many of them have 
been built up. The plain but massive appearance of the walls 
is highly suggestive of strength and solidity, which is fully 
borne out by the excellent state of preservation of this old 
building after a lapse of nearly five centuries. 

The small fort of Indr pat, or Purana Kilah, was repaired 
by the Emperor Humayun in A. H. 910, or A. I). 1533, 
and re-named by him Din-pandh ; but the new name is never 
used, except hy pedantic or bigotted Muhammadans. Within 
a few years, or about A. D. 1510 the works were much strength- 
ened by Shir Shah, who made Indrpat the Citadel of his new 
city under the name of Sliirgarli, by which it is now very 
generally known, although Pur ana Kilah, or “ the old Eort,” 
is perhaps the most common appellation. The lofty massive 
towers and solid walls of this fort were strengthened by a ditch 
which once communicated with the Jumna. Shirgarh is, 



however, but a small place when compared with the mighty 
fortresses of liai Bithora, Siri, and Tughlakabad , the whole 
circuit of its walls being only one mile and one furlong. In 
shape it is almost rectangular, being 3 furlongs in length by 
1^ furlongs in breadth. The fort had four gates, one in the 
middle of each face, of which the south-west gate alone is 
now open. The interior is almost filled with Native huts; 
but towering above these hovels are two fine remains of for- 
mer days, a handsome massive Mosque, generally known as 
the Kila-Kona Masjid, and a lofty octagonal building, which 
is still called Shir Mandir , or “ Shir’s Palace.” The front of 
the Mosque has five horse-shoe arches, and is decorated 
with blue tiles and marble. The roof is formed of low flat- 
tened domes. It was built by Shir Shah in A. H. 948, or 
A. D. 1541, and is the finest existing specimen of the 
architecture of the Afghan period. 

The new city of Shir Shah called Delhi Shirshali ex- 
tended from the neighbourhood of Humayun’s tomb on the 
south to Piruz Shah’s Kotila on the north, near which there 
still exists a fine massive gateway, which was the Kdbuli 
Darwdza of the new city. It is now, however, always called 
the Ldl Darwdza or “ red gate.” "William Pinch, who 
entered Delhi from the Agra side on 16th January 1611, 
describes the city as being two kos in length from gate to 
gate, “ surrounded by a wall which has been strong, but is 
now ruinous.” The value of Pinch’s kos is determined at 
rather more than 1| mile, by his mention that the hunting 
seat or mole (that is, Mahal of Piruz Shah) was two kos 
from the city. Prom the Ldl Darwdza to the ruing of the 
Kushak Shikar, the distance is 3J miles, and from the same 
point to Humayun’s tomb the distance is exactly 3 miles. 
But as Purchas, on the authority of other English travellers, 
states that Humayun’s tomb was in the city of Shir Shah 
Salim, the south gate of the city must have been somewhere 
beyond the tomb. The distance, however, could not have 
been great, as Pinch mentions that “ a short way from Delhi 
is a stone bridge of 11 arches,” which is clearly the long 
massive bridge of 11 arches, that is now called Bara Bui or 
the “ Great Bridge.”* The south gate of Shir Shah’s city 

* Syad Ahmed writes the name Barak Palah, or the “12 arches,” and states that the 
bridge was built in A. H. 1021, which began on 23rd February 1612. But there is probably 
a mistake of one year in this date, which, I think, should be A. H. 1020, or A. D. 1611. 
This would agree with Finch’s date of 16th January 1611, or properly 1612, according to our 
present reckoning. 



must therefore have been somewhere between the Bara Bui 
and Humayun’s tomb. The east wall of the city is deter- 
mined by the line of the high bank of the Jumna, which 
formerly ran due south from Eiruz Shah’s Kotila towards 
Humayun’s tomb. On the west the boundary line of the 
city can be traced along the bank of a torrent bed, which 
runs southward from the Ajmer Gate of Shahjahanabad, and 
parallel to the old course of the Jumna, at a distance of 
rather more than 1 mile. The whole circuit of the city walls 
was therefore close upon 9 miles, or nearly double that of the 
modern Shahjahanabad. 

The small fort of Salimgarh was built by Salim Shah, 
the son of Shir Shah, in A. H. 953, or A. D. 1546. It is 
situated at the north end of Shahjahan’s Palace, after the 
building of which it was used only as a state prison. It is 
not quite one quarter of a mile in length, and the whole circuit 
of its walls is only of three quarters of a mile. It stands 
on an island close to the west bank of the river, and with 
its loftly towel’s and massive walls, forms a most picturesque 
object from the opposite side of the Jumna. A bridge of 
five arches was built in front of the South Gate by Jahangir, 
after whom the name of the place was changed to Nurgarh 
according to Syad Ahmad. But the old name of Salimgarh has 
prevailed, and is the only one that I have ever heard used 
by the people, either educated or uneducated. 

The tomb of Humayun is too well known to need any 
detailed description, unless illustrated by pictorial represen- 
tations^ which will more appropriately accompany my pro- 
posed account of Mogul architecture. It was built after 
the Emperor’s death in A. H. 962, or A. D. 1554, by his 
widow Ilaji Began. It is therefore the earliest specimen of 
the architecture of the Mogul dynasty. The exterior form 
of the main body of the tomb is a square with the corners 
ent off, on an octagon with four long and four short faces, 
and each of the short faces forms one side of the four 
octagonal corner towers. The dome is built entirely of white 
marble, the rest of the building being of red stand-stone, 
with inlaid ornaments of white marble. In this tomb we first 
see towers attached to the four angles of the main build- 
ing. It is true that these towers are very stout and massive, 
but they form an important innovation in the Muhammadan 
architecture of Northern India, which was gradually improved 
and developed, until it culminated in the graceful Minars of 



the Taj Mahal. The intervening links are, 1st, the one-storeyed 
towers of Itimad-uddaolah’s tomb at Agra ; 2nd, the two- 
storeyed Minars of the gateway of Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra ; 
and 3rd, the three-storeyed octagonal Minars of Jahangir’s 
tomb at Labor. In all these specimens the Minars are 
attached to the main building, as in the original example of 
Humayun’s tomb. But in the Taj Mahal the Minars are 
placed at the four angles of the square terrace or plinth, on 
which the tomb is raised, an arrangement which was pro- 
bably copied from the position of the four corner towers of 
the platform of Shir Shah’s tomb at Sassaram. Another 
innovation observable in this tomb is the narrow-necked 
dome, which was afterwards adopted in all the Mogul 

The citadel or palace of ShajaMndbad was begun by the 
Emperor Sliahj&han in the year A. H. 1048, or A. D. 1638, 
but the new city was not commenced until 10 years later. 
The circuit of the walls of the citadel is 1-J mile, or just the 
same as that of the old citadel of Tughlakabad ; but the new 
city is considerably larger than either Tughlakabad or Rai 
Pithorcfs Eort, the circuit of its walls being 5^ miles. The 
citadel has two gates, named the Labor and Delhi Gates. The 
city has twelve gates, which are named as follows, beginning 
from the north-east gate near Salim garli, which is now called 
the Calcutta Gate, because it leads to the bridge-of-boats 
over the Jumna on the line of the high road to Calcutta : 

1. Calcutta Gate to north-east. 

2. Nigambad Gate to north-east. 

3. Kashmir Gate to north. 

4. Mori Gate to north. 

5. Kabul Gate to west. 

G. Labor Gate to west. 

7. Earash Khana to south-west. 

8. Ajmer Gate to south-west. 

9. Turkoman Gate to south. 

10. Delhi Gate to south. 

11. Khyrati Gate to east. 

12. Bajghat to east on river face. 

The original round towers of the city defences were 
much enlarged and altered into angular bastions by the 
British Government early in the present century, and at the 
same time a regular glacis was formed all round the land faces 



of the fortress. These new works added considerably to the 
strength of the fortifications, as we found, to our cost, in the 
mutiny of 1857. The two principal streets, forming nearly 
a right angle, ran from the Labor and Delhi Gates of the 
Citadel to the Labor and Delhi Gates of the city. The two 
principal buildings in the city are the Jama Masjid and the 
Zinat Masjid. The former was built by Shahjalian in A. D. 
1648, and is one of the largest and finest Mosques in India. 
The later was built by Zinat-un-nissa , the daughter of 
Aurangzib, in A. D. 1710, and is a favorable specimen of the 
later style of Mogul architecture. Both of these buildings 
will be described more fully hereafter in my proposed histori- 
cal account of the Muhammadan architecture of Northern 

The Citadel of Shahjahanabad, which contained the 
Emperor’s palace, and the two celebrated open halls or courts 
called the Dewdn-i-dm and the Deivan-i-lchas, is too well 
known to require any description in this place ; but it will 
be duly considered hereafter in my account of the archi- 
tecture of Shahjahan’s reign. I will, therefore, confine my 
remarks at present to the short account of the two life-size 
statues of elephants and their riders that have lately been 
discovered, and which, as we learn frpm Thevenot and 
Bernier, once stood outside the Delhi Gate of the Citadel. 

The earliest notice is that by Bernier in his description 
of Delhi, written on 1st July 1663: “ I find nothing re- 

markable at the entry (of the palace), but two great elephants 
of stone, which are on the two sides of one of the gates. 
Upon one of them is the statue of Jamel, the famous Baja 
of Chitor, and upon the other that of Patta, his brother. 
These are those two gallant men that, together with their 
mother, who was yet braver than they, cut out so much work 
for Eckbar , and who in the sieges of towns, which they 
maintained against him, gave such extraordinary proofs of 
their generosity, that at length they would rather be killed in 
the out-falls with their mother than submit : and for this 
gallantry it is that even their enemies thought them worthy 
to have these statues erected for them. These two great 
elephants, together with the two resolute men sitting on them, 
do, at the first entry into this fortress, make an impression 
of I know not what greatness and awful terror.” Thevenot, 
who was at Delhi in 1667, corroborates Bernier's account of 

e 2 



these statues ; but as he knew that Bernier intended to pub- 
lish a description of Delhi, he merely notices the principal 
objects, of which the first are, “ the two elephants at the 
entry which carry two warriors .” 

The next reference that I have been able to find is by 
Lieutenant Franklin, who visited Delhi in 1793. Stimulated 
by Bernier’s account, he made enquiries after the statues, and 
was informed that “ they were removed by order of Aurangzib 
as savoring too much of idolatry, and he enclosed the place 
where they stood with a screen of red stone, which has dis- 
figured the entrance of the palace.”* 

The romantic account of Bernier did not escape the 
notice of the enthusiastic historian of the Bajputs, who, after 
quoting the passage given above, adds,f that “ the conqueror 
of Chitor evinced an exalted sense, not only of the value of his 
conquest, but of the merits of his foes, in erecting statues 
to the names of Jaymal and JPattci at the most conspicuous 
entrance of his palace at Delhi.” Prom Colonel Tod also we 
learn that Jaymal was a Mertiya Udthor of Bednor, and that 
JPatta was the Chief of the Jagdioat Sisodiyas of Salumbra, 
both being feudatories of Udaypur. Their names, he says, 
are as household words inseparable in Mewar, and will be 
honoured while the.llajput retains a shred of his inheritance, 
or a spark of his ancient recollections.” On Akbar’s 
advance to Chitor, the spiritless Bana Uday Sing retired to 
the western jungles, and the defence of the capital of the 
Sisodyas was left to the Bathor Governor Jaymal. But the 
warlike spirit of the Sisodiyas was roused by the mother of 
the young Chief of Salumbra, who “ commanded him to put 
on the saffron robe and to die for Chitor.” Patta was then 
only sixteen years old, and had lately married ; but to check 
any compunctious reluctance which he might feel in leaving 
his bride, the heroic mother armed the young wife as well as 
herself, and “with her descended the rock, and the defenders 
of Chitor saw her fall, fighting by the side of her Amazonian 
mother.” The siege still continued, but without making any 
progress, when, through some unfortunate delay in the 
springing of one of their mines, the assailants suffered a 
severe loss, and fled in disorder to their camp. The operations 

* Asiatic Researches, IV. — 116. 
t Rajasthan, I — 328. 



of the siege had now to he re-commenced, when a lucky 
shot deprived the Rajputs of their leader. “ Other mines,” 
says Eerishta,* “ were directed to he constructed, and as the 
works were in progress, the King while in the batteries 
observed Jaymal, the Governor of the place, superintending 
the repairs of the breaches, and giving his orders by torch- 
light. Akbar, seizing a matchlock from one of his atten- 
dants, fired at him, and was so fortunate as to lodge the ball 
in Jaymal’s forehead. The spirit of the besieged fell with 
their Governor, and, in their dispair, they performed the 
ceremony of the Johar, and putting their wives and children 
to death, burned them with the corpse of their Chief on a 
funeral pile.” Akbar then entered the fort, and after a 
slight opposition, the capital of the Sisodiyas, for the third 
time, was in the hands of the Musalmans. 

It remains now to consider the value of the evidence 
recorded in the above statements. In the first place, then, 
with respect to the statues, I feel quite satisfied with the 
testimony of Bernier. As the physician and companion of 
Danishmand Khan , a highly respectable nobleman of 
Aurangzib’s Court, he was most in the favorable position for 
obtaining accurate information regarding the history of Akbar 
and his successors. I accept, therefore, without any 
hesitation, the account of Bernier that the statues were 
those of Jaymal and Patta, the two Rajput heroes who 
defended Chitor against Akbar. Both statues as I have 
already pointed out, are those of Hindus, as their dresses 
open over the right breast. Admitting this much, I am like- 
wise prepared to allow that the two statues must have been 
made by Akbar, as is also stated by Bernier. But, as the 
building of Shahjahanabad was not begun until seventy 
years after the siege of Chitor, it is absolutely certain that 
Akbar could not have erected the statues in front of the gate 
of the Delhi Palace, where they were seen by Bernier and 
Thcvcnot. What, then, was their original site ? This I be- 
lieve to have been the fort of Agra in front of the river gate. 

In his account of the city of Agra, Abul Eazl,f the 
Minister of Akbar, states that “His Majesty has erected a fort 
“of red stone, the like of which no traveller has ever beheld.” 

* Briggs, 11—231. 
f Ain Akbari, II — 36. 



“ At the eastern gate are carved in stone two elephants with 
their riders, of exquisite workmanship.” The eastern gate 
of the fort of Agra is the river gate, in front of which the 
two statues most probably remained undisturbed until the 
reign of Shahjahan, who, as I presume, must have removed 
them to Delhi to adorn his new capital of Shahjahanabad. 
It is scarcely possible that Jahangir could have removed them 
to Delhi ; hut, if he did so, they would have been placed in 
front of the gate of Salimgarh, to which he added a bridge, 
at the same time changing the name of the place to Nurgarli, 
after his own title of Nur-uddin. 

I have been disappointed in not finding any mention 
of these elephant statues in the accounts of our early English 
travellers. Captain Hawkins and William Einch both visited 
Agra in the beginning of Jahangir’s reign. The former 
attended the Boyal Darbar in the Agra Eort regularly for 
two years, and describes minutely the King’s daily occupa- 
tions, which, according to William Einch, included the wit- 
nessing of animal fights on every day except Sunday and of 
executions on every Tuesday. Both the fights and the execu- 
tions took place in a courtyard, or out- work, in front of the 
river gate. This gate is described by Einch as follows : “ The 

fourth gate is to the river called the Dursane (Darsan Dar- 
waza , or “ Gate of Sights”) leading to a fair court, extending 
along the river, where the King looks out every morning at 
sunrising.* * Bight under this place is a kind of scaffold, on 
which the Nobles stand.* * Here, likewise, the King comes 
every day at noon to see the Tumdsha (shows) or fighting 
with elephants, lions, and buffaloes, and killing of deer by 
leopards.* * Tuesdays are peculiarly the days of blood, both 
for fighting beasts and killing men, as on that day the King 
sits in judgment, and sees it put in execution.” I can only 
account for the silence of Einch and Hawkins by supposing 
that they had never seen these two remarkable elephants 
with their warrior riders. This, indeed, is likely enough, for 
the principal gate near the city, by which they would have 
entered the fort, is on the western side, and unless they had 
passed right through the fort, they could not possibly have 
seen the statues. There was formerly no road along the 
bank of the river, and no one would think of passing in that 
direction without some special reason. No doubt the statues 
might have been seen from the opposite bank of the river, 



but as our travellers bad no call to go there, they probably 
never went. Both of them came to Agra from Surat, and 
approached the fort on the south side ; and Pinch left Agra by 
the Delhi Boad via Mathura, without crossing the river, while 
Hawkins returned to Surat. Had Pinch seen the statues, 
I feel satisfied that he would have mentioned them, as he 
takes notice of the elephant statue in front of the Ildtlii 
JPaur , or “ Elephant Gate,” of the Gwalior Port. 

With regard to Akbar’s object in setting up these 
statues, I differ altogether from Bernier and Tod. Speaking 
of the heroes Jaymal and JPatta , the former says that “ even 
their enemies thought them worthy to have these statues 
erected to them.” This is somewhat amplified by Tod, who 
says that Akbar “ evinced an exalted sense, not only of the 
value of his conquest, but of the merits of his foes in 
erecting statues to the names of Jaymal and Patta.” Here 
we see that both Bernier and Tod were of opinion that these 
statues were erected by Akbar in honour of his enemies, the 
two Bajput heroes of Chitor. But when we remember that 
Akbar prided himself on having killed J aymal with his own 
hand ; that he gave the name of Durust Anddz, or “ true- 
shooter,” to his matchlock, and that both his Minister Abul 
Pazl and his son Jahangir make much boasting of the 
Emperor’s lucky shot, the more natural conclusion is that the 
statues were erected in honour of Akbar himself. Had they 
been set up in honour of his gallant foes, the fact would 
most assuredly have been commemorated in their loudest 
voice by the Bajput bards; but so far was this from being 
the case; that Colonel Tod was entirely indebted to Bernier 
for his knowledge of their existence. 

Again, when I remember that the same Akbar assumed 
the title of Ghdzi (or warrior for the faith) after putting to 
death with his own hand in cold blood his able, gallant, and 
wounded antagonist Himu, I cannot believe that he would 
afterwards erect statues in honour of any infidel Hindus, 
however noble in blood, or gallant in the field. When I 
recollect, also, the position that the statues occupied, one on 
each side of the eastern gateway of the Agra fort, I cannot 
help feeling that they stood, like the two horsemen at the 
gate of the Horse Guards in London, as sentinels at the gate 
of their imperial foe, to do honour to their conqueror. 
Admitting his view to be correct, I can understand why 



Shahjahan removed them to Dcllii to occupy the same position 
at the gate of liis new citadel. Under the same view I can 
also understand why they were spared for a time by the bigotted 
Aurangzib. On the other hand, if we suppose with Bernier 
and Tod that the statues were set up in honour of the two 
Rajput warriors, their re-erection by Shahjahan is to me quite 

But the question of Akbar’s intention, whether it was to 
do honour to his foes or to himself, is one of comparatively 
little moment. To us the statues are simply valuable as works 
of art, as they are, perhaps, the only portrait statues that 
have been executed in India for many centuries. They are 
made of red sand-stone, and are of life-size, while the huge 
elephants on which they sit arc of black marble, and the hous- 
ings are decorated with white and yellow marbles. On these 
grounds I conclude that the dresses and turbans of the 
Rajput Chiefs were coloured, while the faces and hands were 
most probably left of the natural redish brown colour of the 
sand-stone. "When set up again in the Delhi Garden, I have 
no doubt that they will command as much attention and ad- 
miration from our own countrymen as they did two hundred 
years ago from the enthusiastic Erenchman Bernier. 

There are many other remains at Delhi that are both 
beautiful and interesting, but as their age and origin are well 
known, they will naturally form a part of my proposed 
account of the Muhammadan architecture of Northern India. 
Such are the Zinat Masjid , more commonly called the Kudri 
Masjid, or “ Maiden’s Mosque,” because built by Zinat-un- 
nissa, the virgin daughter of Aurangzib;'* the Kashmiri 
Masjid, and the Begam Masjid in the city, and the tombs of 
JalidnCird Begam and Zib-un-nissa, the sister and daughter of 
Aurangzib, outside the city. I will only notice here a grave 
mistake made by Mrs. Colin Mackenzie in her account of the 
epitaph on Jahdndra’s tomb. The marginal inscription 
records the name of “ the perishable Eakir, Jahandrd Begam, 
the daughter of Shahjahan, and the disciple of the saints of 
Chist A. EL 1091 (or A. D. 1682).” The holy men here 
mentioned arc the Muhammadan saints of the well known 
family of Chist i, of whom famous shrines exist at Ajmer, 

* The people have a tradition that Zinat-un-nissa demanded the amount of her dowry - 
from her father, and spent it in building tins Mosque, instead of marrying. 



Eatehpur — Sikri, Thanesar, and Kasur. This notorious 
Muhammadan name is changed by Mrs. Mackenzie as follows : 
“ the humble, the transitory Jahanara was a disciple of the 
holy men of Christ, supposed to he Roman Priests.”* 
Jahanara was the builder of the Jama Masjid at Agra, and 
has always been considered a most devout follower of 
Muhammad, Her name is still held in much veneration 
in Delhi for her numerous charities. 


In the Brahmanical city of Mathura, in A. D. 634, the 
temples of the gods were reckoned by II wen Thsang at five 
only, while the Buddhist monasteries amounted to 20, with 
2,000 resident monks. The number of Stupas and other 
Buddhist monuments was also very great, there being no less 
than seven towers, containing relics of the principal disciples 
of Buddha. The King and his ministers were zealous Bud- 
dhists, and the three great fasts of the year were celebrated 
with much pomp and ceremony, at which times the people 
flocked eagerly to make their offerings to the holy Stupas 
containing the relics of Buddha’s disciples. Each of them, 
says Hwen Thsang, paid a special visit to the statue of the 
Bodhistawa whom he regarded as the founder of his own 
school. Thus the followers of the Abiclharma , or transcen- 
dental doctrines made their offerings to Sdriputrci ; they who 
practised Samddhi or meditation, to Mudgalaputra ; the 
followers of the Sautrdntikas, or aphorisms, to Burva Mai- 
treyani )Putra ; they who adhered to the Vinaya , or disci- 
pline, to JJpdli; the Bhikshunis or Nuns, to Ananta ; the 
Anupdsampannas , or novices, to Bdhula (the son of Buddha); 
and they who studied the Mahaydna, or “ Greater means of 
advancement,” to the great Bodhisatwa Manju Sri or 
Avalokiteswara , who plays such a conspicuous part in later 
Buddhism. But notwithstanding this apparently flourishing 
condition of Buddhism, it is certain that the zeal of the 
people of Mathura must have lessened considerably since 
A. D. 400, when Ea Hian reckoned the body of monks in 

* Delhi, the city of the Great Mogal, 2nd edition, p. 51. I presume that this curious 
mistake is due to the English printer’s correction of Sir W. Sleeman’s translation, Rambles, 
II., 270, where Christ is an evident misprint for Ckist, as Sleeman was a good scholar. It is 
curious that the same insertion of the letter r is made in this name in the travels of another 
lady, “ Tour in Upper Provinces of Hindustan by A. D,” where she speaks, or is made to 
speak by the English compositor, of “the Mausoleum of Christie at Futtcypoor Siccra.” 



the 20 monasteries to he 3,000, or just one-half more than 
their number at the time of Hwen Thsang’s visit in A. D. 

Pa Ilian and his companions halted at Mathura for a 
whole month, during which time “ the clergy held a great 
assembly and discoursed upon the law.” After the meeting 
they proceeded to the Stupa of Sdriputra , to which they 
made an offering of all sorts of perfumes, and before which 
they kept lamps burning the whole night. Hwen Thsang 
describes these processions as carrying flying steamers and 
stately parasols, while the mists of perfumes and the showers 
of flowers darkened the sun and moon ! I can easily realize 
the pomp and glittering show of these ceremonies from the 
similar scenes which I have witnessed in Barma. I have seen 
steamers from 100 to 200 feet in length carried in proces- 
sions, and afterwards suspended from pillars or holy trees. I 
have beheld hundreds of gorgeous parasols of gold and silver 
brocade flashing in the sun ; and I have witnessed the burning 
of thousands of candles day after day before the great Stupa 
of Sliwe-Dagon at Rangoon, which is devoutly believed to 
contain eight hairs of Buddha. Before this sacred tower, I 
have seen flowers and fruits offered by thousands of people, 
until they formed large heaps around it, while thousands of 
votaries still came thronging in with their offerings of candles, 
and gold leaf, and little flags, with plantains and rice, and 
flowers of all kinds. 

Prom these accounts of the Chinese pilgrims it would 
appear that the Buddhist establishments at Mathura must 
have been of considerable importance, and this conclusion is 
fully borne out by the number and interest of the recent 
discoveries. Contrary to his usual practice, Ilwen Thsang 
has unfortunately given us hut few details regarding the 
monasteries and temples of Mathura. This is the more to 
he regretted, as we now know that one of the monasteries 
was established by the great Indo- Scythian King Huvishka , 
about the beginning of the Christian era, and that one of the 
stone statues, judging by the size of its hand, could not have 
been less than 20 feet in height. 

The first place described by Hwen Thsang is a monastery 
situated on a mound, at 5 or 6 li, or about one mile, to the 

* See Beal’s “ Fa Hian,” C. XVI ; and Julicn’s Hwen Thsang, II., p. 207. 



of the 




.llagistnatzs ('onr-t 

A Cunning Ka^n. del. 

Cal. September 1871 

L Mile 

K cuter a 


Pol hra Kxv\A rf=*l 

K anhtzlt Til u 

shewing the foundations of the 

behind the Jamai Masjid. 

6 5 1 < • i t 


Litho. at the Survr. Ger 's. Office. 




east of the city. Cells were formed in the sides of the 
mound, which was approached through a hollow, and in the 
midst was a Stupa containing the nails of Buddha. This 
monastery is said to have been built by the holy TJpagupta, 
who, as we learn from one of the legends of Pdtali Putra , 
was a contemporary of Asoka. The nails and beard of the 
holy man were still preserved. 

On another mound to the north of this monastery, there 
was a cave containing a stone chamber, 20 feet high and 30 
feet long, which was full of bamboo spikes only four inches 
in length. These spikes represented the number of husbands 
and their wives who had been converted by TJpagupta . 

At 24 or 25 li, or just four miles to the south-east of 
the stone chamber, there was a large dry tank, with a Stupa 
on its bank, which marked the spot where Buddha was said to 
have taken exercise. On this spot also, according to the 
local legends, a monkey had offered honey to Buddha, which 
the teacher graciously accepted and directed that it should be 
mixed with water and given to the monks. The glad monkey 
made a wild bound, and fell into the tank and died ; but 
owing to the powerful influence of his good act, he became 
a man in his next birth. 

In a forest at a short distance to the north of the tank 
there was another holy spot, where the four previous Buddhas 
were said to have taken exercise ; and all round it there were 
numerous Stupas, which marked the places where no less 
than 1,250 arhats , or holy men, including Sdriputra, Mudga- 
laputra] and others, used to sit in meditation. But besides 
these, there were several other Stupas on the spots where 
Buddha at different times had explained the law. 

The two principal sites described by II wen Tlisang can, 
I think, be fixed with tolerable certainty, namely, that of 
the famous TJpagupta monastery, and that of the monkey’s 
offering. The first is said to be at 5 or G li, or just one mile, 
to the east of the city ; but as an eastern direction would 
take us to the low ground, on the opposite bank of the 
Jumna, where no ruins now exist, I feel quite satisfied that 
we should read west instead of east. This change is rendered 
almost certain by the discovery of numerous Buddhist 
remains inside the great square of the Katra, which is just one 
mile to the westward of the old fort of Mathura. But it is 

v 2 


rendered quite certain by the more recent discovery of very 
important Buddhist remains and old inscriptions in a mound 
beside a tank which is situated just three miles to the south- 
east of the Katra mound. This tank mound I take to he the 
place where Buddha was said to have taken exercise, and 
where the monkey made his offering of honey. The direction 
is precisely the same, and the distance agrees also as well as 
can he made out from II wen Thsang’s statements. He gives 
the distance as four miles from the stone chamber, which was 
at some unstated, hut certainly short, distance to the north 
of the JJpagupta monastery. The nearest mounds are about 
half a mile to the north of the Katra , which will make the 
whole distance 3^ miles, if measured in a direct line by the 
British road, which passes outside the city, hut which will 
he fully four miles if measured by the old road, which goes 
through the city. Had the Chinese pilgrim given us the 
name of the monastery built by JJpagupta, we might, perhaps, 
have obtained some absolute proof of its identity with the 
site of the Katra ; but I believe that the very strong reasons 
which I have just before given are amply sufficient to fix 
the site of the JJpagupta monastery at the present Katra* 

There are a great number of lofty earthen mounds 
around Mathura which are covered with fragments of stone 
and brick. Nothing, however, is known about them, al- 
though every one of them has a separate name. The 
numerous fragments of stone which are found upon them show 
that they are not old brick-kilns, as might have been supposed 
from their vicinity to the city. Apparently, they arc 
natural mounds such as are found everywhere along the lower 
course of Jumna, and which have usually been taken 
advantage of for the sites of forts or temples. Thus the old 
fort of Mathura is perched upon a similar mound, and so also 
is the Jama Masjid in the middle of the Katra square. 
Most of the names of these mounds refer to the Brahmani- 
cal divinities ; but there are two of them, such as the Anand 
Tila and the Vinayak Tila, that are unmistakeably Buddhist, 
and which may possibly refer to the two Stupas of Ananda and 

* I am indebted to Mr. S. Growse, of tbe Civil Service, for the important information 
that numerous ruined mounds exist to the south-west of the Katra, about 1 .V miles distant, iu 
one of winch, just two years ago, was found a golden casket with the usual Buddhist deposits 
of the seven precious things. The position of these mounds agrees better with the distance 
of one mile from the city than the site of the Katra which is only just outside the city. — 
See Plate No. XXXIX. for a map of Mathura. 



TJpdli (the Vindyak or teacher of Vinaya ) as described by 
Hwen Thsang. Both of these mounds are to the north of 
the city. To the south there are seven mounds known as the 
Sat Tila which are severally named as follows: — 1, Dlm- 
Jca-Tila; 2. Sapt Bishi ; 3, Bat, or But, Tila; 4, Narad; 
5, Kans ; 6, Kal-jug ; 7, Ndgshesha .* Now, it is remark- 
able that the number of great Stupas of the disciples of Buddha 
was also seven ; but unfortunately as nothing is recorded 
regarding their relative positions, we are left entirely to 
conjecture whether these mounds may possibly represent 
the seven famous Stupas of Buddha’s principal disciples. 
I think that it would be worth while to make some excava- 
tions in all of these seven mounds to the south, as well as 
in the two northern mounds which still bear Buddhistical 

The Katra mound has been successively occupied by 
Buddhists, Brahmans, and Musalmans. The Katra, or 
market-place, is an oblong enclosure like a Sardi, 804 feet in 
length by G53 feet in breadth. In the midst of this square 
stands the Jama Masjid, on a large mound from 25 to 30 feet 
in height. The mosque is 172 feet long and 66 feet broad, 
with a raised terrace in front of the same length, but with a 
breadth of 86 feet, the whole being 30 feet in height above 
the ground. About 5 feet lower, there is another terrace 
286 feet in length by 268 feet in breadth, on the eastern edge 
of which stands the mosque. There is no inscription on the 
building, but the people ascribe it to Aurungzib, who is said 
to have pulled down the great Hindu temple of Kesava 
Deva, or Keso Bay, that formerly stood on this high mound, 
a most noble position, which commands a tine view of the 
whole city. Curiously enough I have been able to verify 
this charge against Aurungzib by means of some inscrip- 
tions on the pavement slabs which were recorded by Hindu 
pilgrims to the shrine of Kesava Bay. In relaying the 
pavement, the Muhammadan architect was obliged to cut 
many of the slabs to make them tit into their new places. 
This is proved by several of the slabs bearing incomplete 
portions of Nagari inscriptions of a late date. One slab has 

* During a short visit in the present year, 1871, I could not find a single person who 
knew the Anand Tila. The Dlm-ka-Tila is also an invention of my informant as it is 
evidently intended for DhM-lca-lila, or the “mound of dust,” that is, the refuse of a brick-kiln, 
of which the mound in question is actually composed, 



“ bat 1713, Rhdlgun,” the initial Sam of Sambat having been 
cut off. Another slab has the name of Keso Ray , the rest 
being wanting; while a third hears the late date of S. 1720. 
These dates are equivalent to A. D. 1G56 and 16G3 ; and as 
the latter is five years subsequent to the accession of 
Aurungzib, it is certain that the Hindu temple was still 
standing at the beginning of his reign.*' 

The greater part of the foundations of the Hindu temple 
of Kesava Ray may still be traced at the back of the Masjid. 
Indeed, the back wall of the mosque itself is actually built 
upon the plinth of the temple, one of the cyma reversa 
mouldings being filled up with brick and mortar. I traced 
the walls for a distance of 1G3 feet to the westward, but 
apparently this was not the whole length of the temple, as 
the mouldings of the Hindu plinth at the back of the Masjid 
are those of an exterior wall. I think it probable that the 
temple must have extended at least as far as the front of the 
mosque, which would give a total length of 250 feet, with an 
extreme breadth of nearly 72 feet, the floor of the building 
being no less than 25 feet above the ground. Judging from 
these dimensions, the temple of Kesava Deva must have been 
one of the largest in India.! I was unable to obtain any 
information as to the probable date of this magnificent fane. 
It is usually called Keso Ray, and attributed to Raja Jaga 
Deva, but some say that the enshrined image was that of 
Jaga Deva , and that the builder’s name was Ray or Raja 
Kesava Deva. It is possible that it may have been one of 
the “innumerable temples” described by Mahmud in his 
letter to the Governor of Ghazni written in A. D. 1017, as we 
know that the conqueror spared the temples either through 
admiration of their beauty, or on account of the difficulty of 
destroying them. Mahmud remained at Mathura only 20 
days, but during that time the city was pillaged and burned, 
and the temples were rifled of their statues. Amongst these 
there were “ five golden idols whose eyes were of rubies, 
valued at 50,000 dinars,” or £25,000. A sixth golden image 

* I have since found the most complete and satisfactory confirmation of my opinion in 
the travels of Tavernier, Part II., B. III., ch. 12, where he describes the Hindu temple as 
still standing at the time of his visit, apparently about A. D. 1651), and certainly after the 
accession of Aurungzib. 

f This opinion is fully confirmed by Tavernier, who describes the temple as “ tres- 
mngnifiquc,” and states that it ranked next after the temples of Jagannath and Bandras. — 
See Plate No. XL. for a plan of the Masjid and Temple. 



weighed 98,300 mishkals, or 1,120 fibs., and was decorated 
with a sapphire weighing 300 mishkals, or 3^ Ihs. But, 
“ besides these images, there were above one hundred idols of 
silver, which loaded as many camels.” Altogether the value 
of the idols carried off by Mahmud cannot have been less 
than three millions of rupees, or £300,000. 

The date of Mahmud’s invasion was A. D. 1017, or 
somewhat less than 400 years after the visit of the Chinese 
pilgrim Hwen Thsang, who in A. D. 634 found only live 
Brahmanical temples in Mathura. It is during these four 
centuries, therefore, that we must place, not only the decline 
and fall of Buddhism, hut its total disappearance from this 
great city, in which it once possessed twenty large monas- 
teries, besides many splendid monuments of its most famous 
teachers. Of the circumstances which attended the downfall 
of Buddhism we know almost nothing ; hut as in the present 
case we find the remains of a magnificent Brahmanical temple 
occupying the very site of what must once have been a large 
Budclliist establishment, we may infer with tolerable certainty 
that the votaries of Sakya Muni were expelled by force, and 
that their buildings were overthrown to furnish materials for 
those of their Brahmanical rivals ; and now these in their 
turn have been thrown down by the Musalmans. 

I made the first discovery of Buddhist remains at the 
temple of Kesciva Hay in January 1853, when, after a long 
search, I found a broken pillar of a Buddhist railing sculp- 
tured with the figure of Maya Devi standing under the sal 
tree.* „At the same time I found the capitals of two large 
round pillars of an early date, which are most probably 
Buddhist, along with a fragment of an inscription of the 
Gupta dynasty, containing the well known genealogy from 
Gupta, the founder, down to Samudra Gupta, where the stone 
is broken off. During the present year I have discovered the 
peculiarly curved architrave of a Buddhist gateway, which is 
richly sculptured on both sides with buildings, figures, and 
trees, including a representation of a gateway itself. I found 
also a very perfect standing figure of Buddha, the Teacher, 
which had lately been discovered in clearing out a well at the 
north-west corner of the temple. The figure is 3^ feet high, 
with the left hand grasping the drapery, and the right hand 

* Now iu the Labor Museum. 



raised in the act of teaching. On the pedestal there is a 
dated inscription, in two lines, in characters of an early 
period. The date is given in figures which I read as S. 281 
or A. D. 359. The remainder of the inscription, wffiich is in 
perfect order, records the gift of a statue of Sakya IMiikslm 
to the Yasa Vilidtra , or, “ splendid monastery,” which I take 
to have been the name of the Buddhist establishment that 
once existed on the spot. 

In the same well there were found five other pieces of 
Buddhist sculpture, of which the only specimens worth men- 
tioning are a colossal arm and hand, and a small figure of 
Buddha, the Ascetic, with an imperfect inscription on its 
pedestal in characters of the Gupta dynasty. All these dis- 
coveries arc sufficient to show that the mound of Kesava Bay 
must have been the site of a Buddhist establishment of much 
wealth and of considerable size. The inscribed statue proves 
that here stood the Yasa monastery, and the gateway archi- 
trave shows that there must also have been a Stupa sur- 
rounded with the stone railing which is peculiar to Buddhist 
architecture, and which on that account I have ventured to 
call the Buddhist railing. The site is a most promising one 
for discovery ; and as the Masjid has long been disused, owing 
to many dangerous cracks in both roof and walls, I believe 
that there would not be any objection whatever to a complete 
exploration of the mound. 

The most extensive discoveries at Mathura have been 
made in a mound close to the Jail, which, according to the 
inscriptions, would appear to have been the site of at least 
two different monasteries, named the Huvishka Viliam and 
the Kunda-Suka Vihdra. The first of these names I deci- 
phered in 1S60 from a circular inscription round the base of 
a column, and the second name I found early in the present 
year, 18G3, on a large flat slab of stone which had appa- 
rently been used as a scat. 

In my notice of the first discovery, which was published 
in the Asiatic Society’s Journal for 1SG0, I identified this 
Huvishka with his namesake of the Wardak inscription, and 
with the Hushka of the Baja Tarangini ; and this identifi- 
cation has since been adopted by all who have made any 
reference to cither of these records. The question is one of 
considerable importance, as it enables us to fix the date of the 



building of the monastery in the latter half of the century 
immediately preceding tlie Christian era, at which period 
the three Indo-Scytliian princes, H ushlca and his brothers, 
Kanishka and Jushka, ruled over Kabul, Kashmir, and the 
Punjab. The bases of about 30 pillars belonging to this 
monastery have now been discovered, of which no less than 
15 are inscribed with the names of the donors who presented 
the columns to the monastery. But as one of these gifts 
consisted of sis pillars, a second of 25, and a third of 26 
pillars, there still remains 40 columns to bo discovered, which 
will bring up the total number to 70. The diameter of the 
circular shafts of these pillars varies from 17 to 18 inches, 
and the side of the square base 23^- to 24 inches. They arc 
all very coarsely worked, the rough marks of the chisel never 
having been smoothed away. 

The name of the second monastery, Kunda-SuTca , refers, 
I believe, to the tank which lies immediately to the west- 
ward of the mound. Kunda-Sulca means the “ dry tank and 
as the position Of the tank agrees with that assigned by 
Hwcn Thsang to the ‘ dry tank’ in which the monkey was 
killed, I think there can be no doubt of the accuracy of my 

The discoveries already made in the Jail mound, amongst 
the ruins of the Huvislika and Kunda-Suka monasteries, have 
been very interesting on account of their variety, as they 
comprise statues of all sizes, bas-reliefs, pillars, Buddhist 
railings,, votive Stupas, stone umbrellas, and many other 
objects peculiar to Buddhism, of a date as early as the first 
century of the Christian era.* Amongst the broken statues 
there is the left hand of a colossal figure of Buddha, the 
Teacher, which measures exactly one foot across the palm. 
The statue itself, therefore, could not have been less than 
from 20 to 24 feet in height, and with its pedestal, halo, and 
umbrella canopy it must have been fully 30 feet in height. 
Stone statues of this great size are so extremely difficult to 
move, that they can be very rarely made. It is true that 
some of the Jain statues of Gwalior are larger, such as the 
standing colossus in the TJrwdhi of the fort, which is 57 feet 

* Several inscriptions have since been discovered which belong to the first century 
before Christ. The earliest is of the Satrap Sauddsu, and the uext of the Great King 
Kanishka, dated in the year 9. 



high, "with a foot 9 feet in length, and the great seated figure 
on the east side of the fort, which is 29 feet high, with a 
hand 7 feet in length. But these figures are hewn out of the 
solid rock, to which they are still attached at the hack. 
There are larger statues also in Barrna, hut they are built up 
on the spot of brick and mortar, and cannot be moved. I 
look forward, therefore, with great interest to the discovery 
of other portions of the Mathura Colossus, and more 
especially to that of the pedestal, on which we may expect 
to find the name of the donor of this costly and difficult 

Most of the statues hitherto discovered at Mathura have 
been those of Buddha, the Teacher, who is represented either 
sitting or standing, and with one or both hands raised in the 
attitude of enforcing his argument. The prevailing number 
of these statues is satisfactorily illustrated by Ilwen Thsang, 
who records that when Buddha was alive he frequently 
visited Mathura, and that monuments have been erected “ in 
all the places where lie explained the law” Accordingly, on 
this one spot there have already been found two colossal 
standing figures of the Teacher, each 7\ feet in height, two 
life-size seated statues, and one three-quarter size seated 
statue, besides numerous smaller figures of inferior work- 

The most remarkable piece of sculpture is that of a 
female of rather more than half life-size. The figure is 
naked, save a girdle of beads round the waist, the same as is 
seen in the Bhilsa sculptures and Ajanta paintings. The 
attitude and the positions of the hands are similar to those 
of the famous statue of Venus of the Capitol. But in the 
Mathura statue the left hand is brought across the right 
breast, while the right hand holds up a small portion of 
drapery. The head is slightly inclined towards the right 
shoulder, and the hair is dressed in a new and peculiar 
manner, with long curls on each side of the face, which fall 
from a large circular ornament on the top of the bead. The 
back of the figure is supported by a thick cluster of lotus 
stalks covered with buds and flowers, which are very grace- 
fully arranged and boldly executed. The plump face with 
its broad smile is the least satisfactory part of this work. 
Altogether this statue is. one of the best specimens of 
unaided Indian art that I have met with. I presume 

Plate XL 


Litnographed at the Surveyor G- leral's Omce, Calcutta, March 1372. 



that it represents a dancing girl, and that it once adorned 
one of the gateways of the great Stupa near the monastery 
of HuvisJika .* 

Three statues of lions have also been discovered, but they 
are inferior both in design and in execution to most of the 
other sculptures. They are all of the same height, 3 feet, 
and are all in the same attitude, but two of them have the 
left foot advanced, while the third has the right foot brought 
forward. The attitudes are stiff, and the workmanship, 
especially of the legs, is hard, wiry, and unnatural. It is 
the fore-part only of the animal that is given, as if issuing 
ont of the block of stone in rear, from which I infer that 
they must originally have occupied the two sides of some 
large gateway, such as we may suppose to have belonged to 
the great monastery of Huvishka . 

The most numerous remains are the stone pillars of the 
Buddhist railings, of which at least three different sizes have 
been found. Those of the largest size are 4| feet in height, 
with a section of 12^ by G inches. When complete with 
base and coping, this railing would have been about 7 feet in 
height. The middle-sized pillars are 3 feet 8 inches high, 
with a section of 9 by 4f inches. The railings formed of 
these pillars would have been 5^ feet in height. Those of 
the smallest size are 2f feet high, with a section of 6^ by 3f 
inches, which would have formed a railing of only 4 feet in 
height. Of this last size no more than six specimens have 
yet been found, but two of them are numbered in the ancient 
Gupta numerals as 118 and 129, so that many more of them 
still remain to be discovered. If we assume the number of 
these pillars to have been no more than 129 the length of 
railing which they formed would have been 144 feet, or with 
two entrances not less than 160 feet. This might have been 
disposed either as a square enclosure of 40 feet side, or as a 
circular enclosure of upwards of 50 feet diameter. The last 
would have been sufficient for the circular railing of a Stupa 
40 feet in diameter. 

No inscriptions or numbers have been found on any of 
the large sized pillars, but there can be no doubt that they 
must have formed parts of the surrounding railings either of 

* The pedestal of this statue, which has since been discovered, shows that the figure 
was originally placed on the top of a small column. 

G 2 



Stupas or of holy trees, such as are represented in tlie Sanchi 
bas-reliefs, or as we see them in still existing examples at 
Sanchi and Sonari. Of the middle-sized railing I found a 
single broken rail, and also a single specimen of the archi- 
traves or coping stones. In the Sanchi and Sonari examples 
the coping is quite plain, but this Mathura specimen is orna- 
mented on both faces with semi-circular panels or niches 
containing figures and flowers. 

The sculptures on the Mathura pillars are of two kinds, 
namely, large single figures on the front, and on the back 
either small bas-reliefs in compartments one above the other, 
or else full-blown flowers at regular intervals. Both in the 
single figures and in the bas-reliefs we find the same mixture 
of religious and social subjects as in the sculptures of Sanchi 
and Buddha-Gaya. On one pillar we have a standing figure 
of Buddha, the Teacher, with a halo and umbrella canopy, 
and on the back four small bas-reliefs representing, lszf, a 
holy tree with suspended garlands, surrounded by a Buddhist 
railing ; 2nd, a pair of figures, male and female ; 3rd, a 
kneeling figure presenting an offering to a standing figure ; 
and 4 th, an elephant with rider. One of the other single 
figures is a female holding a water vessel to her lips, and no 
less than four of the others are representations of Maya Devi 
standing under the Sal tree, and holding one of its branches, 
in which position she is described as having given birth to 
Buddha. A specimen of one of the large-sized Mathura 
pillars may be seen in the Asiatic Society’s Museum in Cal- 
cutta, where it was deposited by Colonel Stacy. 

But, perhaps, the most curious of all the Mathura sculp- 
tures is that which was figured and described by James 
Prinsep in 1836 as a Statue of Silenus. The block is 3 feet 
10 inches in height, 3 feet broad, and 1 foot 4 inches 
thick. On the top there is a circular bason 16 inches in 
diameter and 8 inches deep. On the front there is a group 
of three figures about three-fourths of life-size with two 
smaller figures, and on the back a group of four figures 
of half life-size. In the front group the principal figure 
is a stout, half naked man resting on a low seat, with 
ivy or vine-crowned brow, and outstretched arms, which 
appear to be supported by the figures, male and female, 
standing one on each side. The dress of the female is 
most certainly not Indian, and is almost as certainly 



Greek. The dress of the male figure also appears to be 
Greek. Colonel Stacy describes it as “a kerchief round the 
neck with a tie in front as worn by sailors but as it widens 
so it approaches the shoulders ; I presume that it must be the 
short cloak of the Greeks which was fastened in front in the 
very same manner as represented in this sculpture. Prinsep 
agrees with Stacy in considering the principal figure to be 
Silenus : “ His portly carcass, drunken lassitude, and vine- 
wreathed forehead, stamp the individual, while the drapery of 
his attendants pronounces them at least to be foreign to India, 
whatever may be thought of Silenus’s own costume, which is 
certainly highly orthodox and Brahmanical. If the sculptor 
were a Greek, his taste had been somewhat tainted by the 
Indian beau-ideal of female beauty. In other respects his 
proportions and attitudes are good ; nay, superior to any speci- 
men of pure Hindu sculpture we possess ; and, considering 
the object of the group, to support a sacrificial vase (pro- 
bably of the juice of the grape), it is excellent.” Of the group 
on the back I have but little to say : the two female figures 
and one of the men are dressed in the same Greek costume 
as the figures of the other group, but the fourth figure, a 
male, is dressed in a long tunic, which is certainly not Greek, 
and cannot well be Indian. The religious Buddhist would 
have his right shoulder bare, and the layman would have the 
dlioti , or waist-cloth. The Greek clad male figure may pos- 
sibly be Silenus, but I am unable to offer even a conjecture 
as to the figure in the tunic. 

The question now arises, how is the presence of this piece 
of Greek sculpture to be accounted for ?. Perhaps the most 
reasonable solution is to assume the presence of a small body 
of Bactrian Greek sculptors who would have found ready 
employment for their services amongst the wealthy Buddhists, 
just in the same way as goldsmiths and artillerymen after- 
wards found service with the Mogul Emperors. It must be 
remembered that Mathura is close to the great sand-stone 
quarries which for ages past have furnished materials for the 
sculptors and architects of Upper India. All the ancient 
statues that I have met with in Bohilkhund and Oudh are 
made of this stone, and there can be little doubt that the 
Buddhist custom of making gifts of statues and pillars to the 
various monasteries must have created such a steady demand 
for the sculptor’s works as would have ensured the continu- 
ous employment of many skilled workmen. Many of the 



Bactrian Greeks may thus have found remunerative service 
amongst the Indian Buddhists. Indeed, this is the only way 
in which I can account, not only for the very superior exe- 
cution of many of the earliest specimens of Indian art, hut 
also for many of their ornamental details, such as the fluting 
of the pillars in the Western Panjab architecture, and the 
honeysuckle and astragal ornaments of Asoka’s monoliths, 
all of which are of undoubted Greek origin. In the great 
fort of Narwar there still exists a Roman Catholic Chapel, 
with a burial-ground attached, containing fifty tombs of all 
sizes, of which two only are inscribed. One records the 
death of a German, named Cornelius Oliver, in A. I). 1747 ; 
the other of a young girl, named Margarita, the daughter of 
a Hakim or Doctor. The first is recorded in Portuguese, the 
other in Persian. That the fifty tombs are those of Chris- 
tians is proved, not only by the presence of the cross on 
several of the uninscribed head-stones, but by the occurrence 
of the letters J. H. S. surmounted by a cross on the wall 
immediately above the altar. I presume that these Chris- 
tians were gunners who formed the artillery portion of the 
garrison of the important fortress of Narwar. Here, then, 
we have the clearest proof of the existence of a small body 
of foreigners in Ihe very heart of India, who were permitted 
the open exercise of their religion by the most bigoted of all 
mankind, the Indian Muhammadans. Such also, I think, 
may have been the position of a small party of Bactrian 
Greeks amongst the tolerant Buddhists of the great city of 
Mathura about the beginning of the Christian era. Their 
very names are unknown, and their occupations are uncertain, 
but their foreign religion is attested beyond all doubt by the 
presence of a Bacchic altar, bearing the well known figure 
of the wine-bibbing Silenus. 


About 15 miles to the westward of Masuri, and on the 
right bank of the Jumna just above the junction of the 
Tons River, there stands a huge quartz boulder covered with 
one of the well known inscriptions of Asoka. The inscribed 
rock is situated close to the little villages of Byas and Hari- 
pur, and about one mile and a half to the south of the large 
and well known village of Khalsi, by which name I propose 
to distinguish this copy of Asoka’s edicts from those of 



Kapnrdagiri , Junagiri, Pohitds, and Gmtjam .* In speaking 
of Firuz Shali’s Pillar at Delhi, which we know was brought 
from the foot of the hills on the western hank of the Jumna 
near Khidrabad, I have already identified the district of 
Khalsi with part of the ancient kingdom of Srughna, as 
described by Hwen Thsang. As my reasons for coming to 
this conclusion are based entirely upon the statements of the 
Chinese pilgrim, it is necessary that they should be given 
in detail. 

On leaving Sthaneswara or Tlidnesar, Hwen Thsang 
records that he went 400 li, or 06 miles, to the eastward, to 
the kingdom of Su-lu-kin-na, or Sruglma, which he describes 
as being bounded by the Ganges on the east, and by high 
mountains on the north, and as being watered by the .7 umna, 
which ran through the midst of it. The capital, which was 
20 li, or upwards of three miles, in circuit, was situated 
immediately on the west hank of the J umna ; and, although 
much ruined, its foundations were still standing. Amongst 
other monuments it possessed a Stupa of King Asoka. The 
direction given by Hwen Thsang is undoubtedly wrong, as 
the Jumna is not more than 24 miles distant from Thanesar 
towards the east. But the mention of the hills shows most 
clearly that the hearing should be north-east ; and as the 
recorded distance of the Jumna at the foot of the hills agrees 
with the actual distance, the situation of the capital of 
Srughna must be looked for along the western bank of the 
Jumna, somewhere between Khalsi and Khidrabad. At first 
I was inclined to fix the position of the capital in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of the inscribed rock of Khalsi, but I 
could neit her find nor hear of any ruins in its vicinity, and 
the distance is besides too great, being 71 miles in a direct 
line, or about 80 miles by the road. If Hwen Thsang’s dis- 
tances is correct, the most probable position of the capital 
is Paota, on the right bank of the Jumna, which is 57 miles 
distant from Thanesar in a direct line, or about 65 miles by 
the road. I believe also that Paota is the very place from 
whence Firuz Shah removed the Delhi column, for the name 
of its original site is variously written as Taopar, or Topara, 
or Taoparsuk, any one of which by the mere shifting of the 
diacritical points might be read as Paotar. It is possible 

* See Plate No. II. for a map of North-Western India, showing the position of Khalsi, 



also that the word Suk may still preserve a trace of the 
ancient name of Sughan , which is the spoken form of the 
Sanskrit Srughna. I propose to explore this neighbour- 
hood during the ensuing cold season. In the meantime I 
am satisfied with having shown that the inscribed rock of 
Khalsi is situated within the territory of Srughna, in whose 
great monastery the Chinese pilgrim spent upwards of four 
months, because the monks discussed the most difficult ques- 
tions so ably that all doubts where cleared up. By the hands 
of this learned fraternity were most probably engraved the 
two great copies of the edicts of Asoka which are still ex- 
tent on the Khalsi rock and on the Delhi pillar of Eiruz 

Between Khalsi and the Jumna the land on the western 
hank of the river is formed in two successive ledges or level 
steppes, each about 100 feet in height. Near the foot of the 
upper steppe stands the large quartz boulder which has pre- 
served the edicts of Asoka for upwards of 2,000 years. The 
block is 10 feet long and 10 feet high, and about 8 feet thick 
at bottom. The south-eastern face has been smoothed, but 
rather unevenly, as it follows the undulations of the original 
surface. The main inscription is engraved on this smoothed 
surface, which measures 5 feet in height with a breadth of 5^ 
feet at top, which increases towards the bottom to 7 feet 10^- 
inches. The deeper hollows and cracks have been left unin- 
scribed, and the lines of letters are undulating and uneven. 
Towards the bottom the letters increase in size until they be- 
come about thrice as large as those of the upper part. Owing 
either to this enlargement of the letters, or perhaps to the 
latter part of the inscription being of later date, the prepared 
surface was too small for the whole record, which was, there- 
fore, completed on the left hand side of the rock. 

On the right hand side an elephant is traced in outline, 
with the words Gajatame inscribed between his legs in the 
same characters as those of the inscription. The exact mean- 
ing of these words I do not know; hut as the Junagiri rock 
inscription closes with a paragraph stating that the place is 
called Sweta Uasti, or the “ white elephant,” I think it pro- 
bable that Gajatame may mean the “ dark or black elephant,” 
and may, therefore, be the name of the rock itself. Amongst 
the people, however, the rock is known by the name of 
Chhatr Seta, or “ the canopy stone,” which would seem to 


Plate SLI 

North face of Rock. 

3 ' >6±-ti^biD-ygi^d^ s ^^> Sxt -ptfiM\ ,?■' 
*1 £3fcd H l ^ litetl^ iyHUS ^ ' 

5 A. 

6 - 

7 - 

8 - 
9 - 
ao - 

li - 
ii - 


14 - 





aid ^ urt hw- ° u b ■ 

\ % v #• Am* «±+« £ ^ tx rf 0 A. 

0 - £« <f ;l -' u ‘ , ni<] ;. 

K J** f|f 

• fri o c < G-iKd»te a wto €-J o* 

tt K « <^°\. '; 

f *• W+W v* fit &>** ^ 

^JfyXc^ t>L ' Lb ^ fi - 0 66.^4 + 0 -xJO-ff 
ax h <y y ^"yiH o^o-cn 

A A yABHob y&i^OAbA ^ 


A. Cumangham, dei. 

rji!iv>zu 1 ■ .OrfifJ^i a: tie Surr«yjr -~r.r~u ~ Otfic- Calrutia. 



show that the inscribed block had formerly been covered over 
by some kind of canopy, or perhaps only by an umbrella, as 
the name imports. There are a number of squared stones 
lying about close to the rock, as well as several fragments 
of octagonal pillars and half pillars or pilasters, which are 
hollowed out or fluted on the shorter faces, after the common 
fashion of the pillars of Buddhist railings. There is also a 
large carved stone, 7 feet long, 1^ foot broad, and 1 foot in 
height, which from its upper mouldings I judged to have 
formed the entrance step to some kind of open porch in front 
of the inscription stone. 

“When found by Mr. Porrest early in 1860 the letters of 
the inscription were hardly visible, the whole surface being 
encrusted with the dark moss of ages ; but on removing this 
black film the surface becomes nearly as white as marble. At 
first sight the inscription looks as if it was imperfect in many 
places, hut this is owing to the engraver having purposely 
left all the cracked and rougher portions uninscribed. On 
comparing the different edicts with those of the Kapurdagiri, 
Junagiri, and Dlicadi versions, I find the Khalsi text to be in 
a more perfect state than any one of them, and more special- 
ly in that part of the 13th edict which contains the names of 
the five Greek Kings, — Antiochus, Ptolemy, An tigonus, Magas, 
and Alexander.* The Khalsi text agrees with that Dhauli 
in rejecting the use of the letter r, for which l is everywhere 
substituted. But the greatest variation is in the use of the 
palatal sibilant s, which has not been found in any other 
inscription of this early date. This letter occurs in the word 
Pdsanda, which, curiously enough, is spelt sometimes with 
one s, and sometimes with the other, even in the same edict. 
As the proper spelling of this word is Pashanda, it seems 
almost certain that the people of India Proper did not possess 
the letter sh in the time of Asoka. 

I made a complete impression of the whole of this im- 
portant inscription. I also copied the whole of the inscrip- 
tion on the left side by eye, as well as most of the more 
obscure parts in the front inscription. I have since com- 
pared the entire text with those of the other rock tablets, 
and I am now engaged in making a reduced copy of this va- 
luable record for early publication. I propose, however, first, 

* See Plate No. XLI. for this portion of the Khalsi inscription. 



to compare it with the Kapurdagari version in the Arian 
characters. With good copies of all the different texts before 
them, the scholars of Europe will he able to give a more 
satisfactory interpretation of Asoka’s edicts than has hitherto 
been made, even with the aid of all the learning of Birnouf 
and Wilson. 


Erom Srughna the Chinese pilgrim proceeded to Mo-ti- 
pu-lo, or Madipur, to the east of the Ganges, a distance of 
800 li, or 133 miles. Madipur has been identified by M. St. 
Martin with Mandawar, a large old town in Western Itohil- 
khund near Bijnor. I had made the same identification my- 
self before reading M. St. Martin’s remarks, and I am now 
able to confirm it by a personal examination of the locality. 
The actual distance from Laota on the Jumna to Mandawar 
via Haridwar, is not more than 110 miles by the present 
roads ; hut as it w r ould have been considerably more by the old 
Native tracks leading from village to village, the distance re- 
corded by Hwen Thsang is most probably not far from the 
truth, more especially w r hen w r e remember that he paid a visit 
to Ma-yu-lo, or Mayurapura , now Myapoor, near Hard war 
at the head of the Ganges Canal. But the identity of the 
site of Maddioar with Madipur is not dependent on this 
one distance alone, as will be seen from the subsequent 
course of the pilgrim, winch most fully confirms the position 
already derived from his previous route. 

The name of the town is written with the Maddioar with 
the cerebral d, and without the nasal. In our maps it is spelt 
Mundore and Mundawar. According to Johari Lai, Chaodri 
and Kanungo of the place, Maddwar was a deserted site in 
Samvat 1171, or A. D. 1114, when his ancestor Lwdirka Las, 
an Agarwala Baniya, accompanied by Katdr Mall, came from 
Morari in the Mirat District, and occupied the old mound. 
The present towm of Maddwar contains 7,000 inhabitants, 
and is rather more than three-quarters of a mile in length by 
half a mile in breadth. But the old mound which represents 
the former town is not more than half a mile square. It has 
an average height of 10 feet above the rest of the town, and 
it abounds with large bricks, a certain sign of antiquity. In 
the middle of the mound there is a ruined fort, 300 feet 
square, with an elevation of G or 7 feet above the rest of the 


A Old i AUl{juI 
B Old Fort 
t .Fv'yvoJu TU 
d TtiL r<U 
£ XiittcLa TaX 






A Cunningham del. 



At a 4 noth 


Litho. at toe Su-vr. Geni’s. Office. Cal. September 1871. 



city. To the north-cast, distant about one mile from the fort, 
there is a large village, on another mound, called Madiya ; 
and between the two lies a large tank called Kunda Tdl, 
surrounded by numerous small mounds which are said to he 
the remains of buildings. Originally these two places would 
appear to have formed one large town about mile iu length 
by half a mile iu breadth, or 3^ miles in circuit. The Ka - 
nnnejo states that Madawar formed part of the dominions 
of Pithora Raja, and that it possessed a large Hindu temple 
of stone, which was afterwards destroyed by one of the Ghori 
Sultans, who built the present Jama Masjid on its site, and 
with its materials. The stones of the mosque are squared 
blocks of soft grey sandstone, and as many of them exhibit 
cramp-holes on the outside, there can be no doubt that they 
must originally have belonged to some other building. 

To the south-east of the town there is a large, deep, irre- 
gularly shaped piece of water called Tirwdli Tdl. It is near- 
ly half a mile in length, but not more than 300 feet broad in 
its widest part. It is filled in the rains by a small chan- 
nel carrying the drainage of the country from the north-east, 
and its overflow falls into the Malini River, about two miles 
distant. This pool is only part of a natural channel of drain- 
age which has been deepened by the excavation of earth for 
the bricks of the town. But in spite of this evident origin 
of the Madawar tank, it was gravely asserted by the Bud- 
dhists to have been produced by an earthquake which accom- 
panied the death of a celebrated saint, named Vimala Mitra . 

According to Hwen Thsang, Madipur was 20 li, or 34 
miles, in circuit, which agrees very closely with what would 
appear to be the most probable size of the old town. The 
King was a Sudra, who cared nothing for Buddhism, but 
worshipped the Devas. There were 12 Buddhist monasteries 
containing about 800 monks, who were mostly attached to 
the school of the Sarvastivddas, and there were also about 50 
Bralimanical temples.* To the south of the town, at 4 or 5 
li, or f of a mile, there was a small monastery in which 
Gunaprabha was said to have composed 100 works ; and at 
half a mile to the north of this there was a great monastery 
which was famous as the scene of Sanghabhadra’ s sudden 

li 2 

* J alien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 219, 



death from chagrin, when he was overcome in argument hy 
Vasubandliu. His relics were deposited in a Stupa in the 
midst of a mangoe grove only 200 paces to the north-west of 
the monastery. These two chiefs of Buddhism lived about 
the beginning of the Christian era, and the Stupci was still 
standing in A. D. 631 at the time of Hwen Thsang’s visit. 
There is no trace now existing either of the monasteries or 
of the Stupa , hut their sites can he fixed with tolerable cer- 
tainty by the aid of Hwen Thsang’s descriptions. The village 
of Lalpur, which is situated on a mound about three-quarters 
of a mile to the south-south-east of the Jama Masjid, and 
which is built partly of old bricks, represents the site of the 
small monastery of Gunaprabha. To the north of Lalpur, and 
just half a mile distant, is the shrine of Hidayat Shah, with 
a Masjid attached, both of which are built of old bricks. 
This spot I believe to be the site of the great monastery of 
Sanghabhadra. Lastly, to the west-north-west of Hidayat’s 
shrine, at a distance of 200 paces, there is another shrine, or 
Fakir's takia , standing in the midst of a mangoe grove, like 
the old Stupa of Sanghabhadra, the site of which it represents 
almost exactly as described by Hwen Tlisang,* 

Besides the mangoe grove there was a second Stupa 
which contained the relics of Vimala Mitra, who, as a 
disciple of Sanghabhadra , must have lived in the first cen- 
tury of the Christian era. The legend relates that, on passing 
the Stupa of his master Sanghabhadra, he placed his hand 
on his heart, and with a sigh expressed a wish that he might 
live to compose a work which should lead all the students 
of India to renounce the “Great Vehicle” (Mahd Yana), 
and which should blot out the name of Vasubandliu for ever. 
jS t o sooner had he spoken, than he was seized with frenzy, 
and five spouts of burning hot blood gushed from his mouth. 
Then feeling himself dying, he wrote a letter “ expressing 
his repentance for having maligned the Mahd Yana, and 
hoping that his fate might serve as an example to all stu- 
dents.” At these words the earth quaked, and lie expired in- 
stantly. Then the spot where he died suddenly sank and 
formed a deep ditch, and a holy man who witnessed his end 
exclaimed — “ To-day this master of the scriptures, by giving 
way to his passions, and by persisting in erroneous opinions, 

* See Plate No. XL 1 1. for map of Madawar. 


lias calumniated the Malm Yana., for which lie has now fallen 
into everlasting hell.” But this opinion of the holy man 
would appear to have been confined to the followers of the 
Malta Yana, for the brethren of Vimala Mitra, who were 
Sarvastivaclas or students of the lesser vehicle, burned his 
body and raised a Stupa over his relics. It must be remem- 
bered also that Hwen Tlisang, who relates the legend, was 
a zealous follower of the Malm Yana, and this no doubt led 
him to overlook the manifest contradiction between the state- 
ment of the uncharitable arhat, and the fact that his brethren 
had burned his body in the usual manner. This legend, as 
well as several others, would seem to show that there was a 
hostile and even bitter feeling between these two great sects 
of the Buddhist community. 

The site of Vimala Mitra’ s Stupa is described as being 
at the edge of the mango grove, and from the details of the 
legend it is clear that it could have been at no great distance 
from the Stupa of Sanghabhadra. It would appear also that 
it must have stood close by the great ditch, or hollow, which 
his opponents looked upon as the rent in the earth by which 
he had sunk down to “ everlasting hell.” Now the mangoe 
grove which I have before mentioned extends only 120 paces 
to the westward to the bank of the deep tank called the 
Virwdli Tal. I conclude, therefore, that the Stupa of Vimala 
Mitra must have stood close to the edge of this tank and on 
the border of the mangoe grove which still exists in the same 
position as described by Hwen Tlisang. 

It, seems probable that the people of Maddwar, as point- 
ed out by M. St. Martin, may be the Mathce of Megasthenes 
who dwelt on the banks of the Erineses. If so, that river 
must be the Malini. It is true that this is but a small stream, 
but it was in a sacred grove on the bank of the Malini that 
Sakuntala was brought up, and along its course lay her route 
to the court of Duslimanta at Uastinapur. While the lotus 
floats on its waters, and while the Chakioa calls its mate on 
its bank, so long will the little Malini live in the verse of 


On leaving Madipur the Chinese pilgrim travelled 
400 li, or 66 miles to the south-east, and arrived in the king- 
dom of Kiu-pi-shwang-na, which M. Julien renders by 



Govisana .* The capital was 14 or 15 li, or 2| miles in circuit. 
Its position was strong, being elevated, and of difficult access, 
and it was surrounded by groves, tanks, and fish ponds. There 
were two monasteries containing 100 monks, and 30 Brali- 
manical temples. In the middle of the larger monastery, 
which was outside the city, there was a Stupa of Asoka, 200 
feet in height, built over the spot where Buddha was said to 
have explained the law. There were also two small Stupas, 
only 12 feet high, containing his hair and nails. 

According to the bearing and distance from Madipur, as 
given by II wen Thsang, we must look for Govisana some- 
where to the north of Muradabad. In this direction the 
only place of any antiquity is the old fort of TJjain, which is 
just one mile to the east of Kashipur. According to the 
route which I marched, the distance is 44 Los, or GG miles. I 
estimate the value of the kos by the measured distance of 59 
miles between the Post Offices of Bareli and Muradabad, 
which is always called 40 kos by the Natives. The true 
bearing of Kashipur is cast-south-cast, instead of south-east, 
but the difference is not great ; and as the position of 
Kashipur is equally clearly indicated by the subsequent route 
to Ahiohhatra, I feel quite satisfied that the old fort of TJjain 
represents the ancient city of Govisana which was visited by 
Hwcn Thsang. 

Bishop Hcber describes Kashipur as a £t famous place of 
Hindu pilgrimage which was built by a divinity, named 
Kashi, 5,000 years ago.”f But the good Bishop was grossly 
deceived by his informant, as it is well known that the town 
is a modern one, — it having been built about A. I). 1718 by 
Kashi Natli, a follower of Baja Devi Chandra, or Deb Chand, 
of Champawat, in Kumaon. The old fort is now called Ujain ; 
but as that is the name of the nearest village, it seems pro- 
bable that the true name has been lost. The place itself had 
been deserted for several hundred years before the occupation 
of Kashipur ; but as the holy tank of Dron Sugar had never 
ceased to be visited by pilgrims, I presume that the name of 
the tank must have gradually superseded that of the fort. 
Even at the present day, the name Dron Sugar is just as 
well known as that of Kashipur. 

* Julieu’s Hwcn Thsang, II., 233. 
f Travels, Vol. II., p. 246. 


O -o 

Tlic old fort of Ujain is very peculiar in its form, which 
may ho best compared to the body of a guitar. It is 

3.000 feet in length from west to cast, and 1,500 feet in 
breadth, the whole circuit being upwards of 9,000 feet, or 
rather less than 2 miles. Ilwen Tlisang describes the circuit 
of Govisana as about 12,000 feet, or nearly 2\ miles ; hut in 
this measurement he must have included the long mound of 
ruins on the south side, which is evidently the remains of an 
ancient suburb. I3y including this mound as an undoubted 
part of the old city, the circuit of the ruins is upwards of 

11.000 feet, or very nearly the same as that given by Hwen 
Tlisang. Numerous groves, tanks, and lisli ponds still 
surround the place. Indeed, the trees are particularly 
luxuriant, owing to the high level of the water which is 
within 5 or 6 feet of the surface. Tor the same reason the 
tanks are numerous and always full of water. The largest 
of these is the Dron Sugar, which, as well as the fort, is said 
to have been constructed by the five Pandu brothers for the 
use of their teacher Drona. The tank is only GOO feet 
square, hut it is esteemed very holy, and is much frequented 
by pilgrims on their way to the source of the Ganges. Its 
high banks are covered with sati monuments of recent date. 
The walls of the fort are built of large massive bricks, 
15 inches by 10 inches by 2 \ inches, which are always a 
certain sign of antiquity. The general height of the walls 
is 30 feet above the fields ; but the whole is now in complete 
ruin, and covered with dense jungle. Shallow ditches still 
exist on all sides except the east. The interior is very 
uneven,’ but the mass has a mean height of about 20 feet 
above the country. There are two low openings in the 
ramparts, one to the north-west and the other to the south- 
west, which now serve as entrances to the jungle, and which 
the people say were the old gates of the fort.* 

There are some small temples on the western bank of 
the Dron Sugar ; but the great place of worship is the 
modern temple of Jwala Devi, 600 feet to the eastward of the 
fort. This goddess is also called JJjaini Devi, and a great fair 
is held in her honour on the 8th day of the waning moon of 
Chaitra. Other smaller temples contain symbols of Mahadeva 
under the titles of Dhutesar, Muhtesar, Ndgndth, and 

* Sec riale No. XLII. for a map of Ujain or Govisana. 



Jagesar. But all of these temples are of recent date; the 
sites of the more ancient fanes being marked by mounds of 
various dimensions from 10 to upAvards of 30 feet in height. 
The most remarkable of these mounds is situated inside the 
northern Avail of the fort, above which the ruins rise to a 
height of 52 feet above the country, and 22 feet above the 
ramparts. This mound is called Bhimgaja or JBhimgada, that 
is, Bhim’s club, by which I understand a large lingam of 
Maliadeva. Were it not for this name, I should be inclined 
to look upon this huge mound as the remains of a palace, as 
I succeeded in tracing the walls of what appeared to have 
been a large room, 72 feet in length from north to south, by 
63 feet in width, the Avails being 6 feet thick. About 500 feet 
beyond the north-east angle of the fort there is another re- 
markable mound which is rather more than 34 feet in height. 
It stands in the midst of a quadrangular terrace, 600 in 
length by 500 feet in breadth, and, as well as I could ascer- 
tain from an excavation at the top, it is the remains of a 
large square temple. Close by on the east, and within the 
quadrangle, there are the ruins of two small temples. To the 
eastward of the Jwala Devi temple, there is a curious circular 
flat- topped mound of earth, 68 feet in diameter, surrounded 
by a brick wall from 7 to 11 feet in height. It is called 
Rdmgir Gosain-ka-tila, or “ the mound of lldmgir Gosain” 
from which I infer that it is the burial place of a modern 
Gosain. To the south of the fort, near the temple of Jagesar 
Mahadeva, there is a third large mound, 22 feet in height, 
which was once crowned by a temple of 20 feet square inside. 
The bricks have only recently been removed, and the square 
core of earth still remains perfect. To the westward of this 
last, there is a fourth mound, on which I traced the ruins of 
a temple 30 feet square standing in the midst of a raised 
quadrangle about 500 feet square. Besides these there are 
ten smaller mounds, which make up altogether 14, or just 
one-half the number of the Brahmanical temples AA T hich are 
mentioned by IlAven Thsang. 

The only ruin w 7 hicli appeared to me to be of undoubted 
Buddhist origin was a solid brick mound 20 feet in height, to 
the south-west of Jagesar Mahadeva, and close to the small 
village of Khargpur. The base of the mound is upwards of 
200 feet in diameter. The solid brick-work at the top is still 
60 feet thick ; but as it is broken all round, its original 



diameter must have been much greater, probably not less than 
80 feet. But even this larger diameter is too small for a 
Stupa of 200 feet in height of the hemispherical form of 
Asoka’s time ; a Stupa of that early period, even when pro- 
vided with both plinth and cupola, would not have exceeded 
100 feet in height. Unless, therefore, we may suppose that 
there is a mistake of 100 feet in the text of II wen Tlisang, I 
feel quite unable to offer any identification whatever of the 
Buddhist remains of Govisana as described by the Chinese 


Prom Govisana Hwen Tlisang proceeded to the south- 
east 400 li, or 66 miles, to Ahi-clii-ta-lo, or Ahichhatra. This 
once famous place still preserves its ancient name as 
Ahichhatr, although it has been deserted for many centuries. 
Its history reaches hack to the time of the Mahdbhdrata, at 
which date it was the capital of Northern Ranclidla. The 
name is written Ahi-kshctra, as well as Ahi-clihatra , hut the 
local legend of Adi Raja and the Naga, who formed a canopy 
over his head when asleep, shows that the latter is the correct 
form. This grand old fort is said to have been built by Raja 
Adi, an Ahir, whose future elevation to sovereignty was fore- 
told by Rrona when he found him sleeping under the 
guardianship of a serpent with expanded hood. The place is 
mentioned by Ptolemy as Adisadra , which proves that the 
legend attached to the name of Adi is at least as old as the 
beginning of the Christian era. The fort is also called 
Adikot, but the more common name is Alvicliliatr. 

According to the Mahdhharata the great kingdom of 
Ranclidla extended from the Himalaya Mountains to the 
Chambal River. The capital of North Ranclidla, or Rohil- 
khand, was Ahi-chhatra, and that of South Ranclidla, or the 
central Gangetic Doab, was Kdmpilya, now Kampil, on the 
old Ganges between Budaon and Farokhabad.* Just before 
the great war, or about 1430 B. C., the King of Ranclidla, 
named Rrupada, was conquered by Rrona , the preceptor of 
the five Pandus. Rrona retained North Ra nclidla for himself, 
but restored the southern half of the kingdom to Rrupada . 
According to this account the name of Ahi-chhatra, and 

* See Plate No. II. for the positions of the two Panchalas in the map of the North- 
Western Provinces. 



consequently also the legend of Adi Raja and the serpent, 
are many centuries anterior to the rise of Buddhism. 

It would appear, however, that the Buddhists must have 
adopted and altered the legend to do honour to their great 
teacher, for Hwen Thsang records that outside the town 
there was a N aga-hrada, or “ serpent tank,” near which 
Buddha had preached the law for seven days in favour of the 
Serpent Iving, and that the spot was marked by a Stupa of 
King Asoka. Now, as the only existing Stupa at this place 
is called Chattr, I infer that the Buddhist legend represented 
the Nag a King after his conversion as forming a canopy over 
Buddha with his expanded hood. I think, also, that the 
Stupa erected on the spot where the conversion took place 
would naturally have been called Ahi-chhatra, or the “ ser- 
pent canopy.” A similar story is told at Buddha-Gaya of 
the Naga King Muchalincla , who with liis expanded hood 
sheltered Buddha from the shower of rain produced by the 
malignant demon Mara. 

The account of Ahi-chhatra given by II wen Thsang is 
unfortunately very meagre, otherwise we might most pro- 
bably have identified many of the existing ruins with the 
Buddhist works of an early age.*' The capital was 17 or 18 li, 
or just three miles, in circuit, and was defended by natural 
obstacles. It possessed 12 monasteries, containing about 
1,000 monks, and nine Bralimanical temples, with about 300 
worshippers of Iswara Neva (Siva), who smeared their bodies 
with ashes. The Stupa near the serpent tank outside the 
town has already been mentioned. Close beside it there were 
four small Stupas built on the spots where the four previous 
Buddhas had either sat or walked. Both the size and the 
peculiar position of the ruined fortress of Ahi-chliatra agree 
so exactly with II wen Tlisang’s description of the ancient 
Ahi-chhatra , that there can be no doubt whatever of their 
identity. The circuit of the walls, as they stand at present, 
is 19,400 feet, or upwards of 3^ miles. The shape may be 
described as an irregular right-angled triangle, the west side 
being 5,600 feet in length, the north side 6,400 feet, and the 
long side to the south-east 7,400 feet. The fort is situated 
between the Ram Ganga and Gdnghan Rivers, which are 
both difficult to cross ; the former on account of its broad 
sands, the latter on account of its extensive ravines. Both on 

* Julien’s II wen Thsang, II., p. 231. 

P la-tv xl in 

A Cuniung*ham del. 

Jiltho. at “.he Survr. Genl’s. Office. Cal. Septembet 1371 



the north and east the place is rendered almost inaccessible 
by the Riria Nala, a difficult ravine with steep broken banks, 
and numerous deep pools of water quite impassable by 
wheeled vehicles. For this reason the cart road to Bareli, 
distant only 18 miles due east, is not less than 23 miles. In- 
deed the only accessible side of the position is the north- 
west, from the direction of Lakhnor, the ancient capital 
of the Katehria llajputs. It, therefore, fully merits the 
description of Hiven Tlisang as being defended by 
“natural obstacles.”* Ahi-chhatra is only seven miles to the 
north of Aonla, but the latter half of the road is rendered 
difficult by the ravines of the Gdnghan River. It was in 
this very position, in the jangals to the north of Aonla, that 
the Katehria Bajputs withstood the Muhammadans under 
Firuz Tughlak. 

The ruins of Alii-clihatra were first visited by Captain 
Hodgson, the Surveyor, who describes the place as “the 
ruins of an ancient fortress several miles in circumference, 
which appears to have had 31 bastions, and is known in the 
neighbourhood by the name of the ‘ Pandus Fort.’ ” Accord- 
ing to my survey there are only 32 towers, but it is quite 
possible that one or two may have escaped my notice, as I 
found many parts so overgrown with thorny jungle as to be 
inaccessible. The towers are generally from 28 to 30 feet in 
height, excepting on the west side, where they rise to 35 feet. 
A single tower near the south-west corner is 47 feet in height 
above the road outside. The average height of the interior 
mass is from 15 to 20 feet. Many of the present towers, 
however, are not ancient, as an attempt was made by Ali 
Muhammad Khan, about 200 years ago, to restore the fort 
with a view of making it his stronghold in case he should 
be pushed to extremities by the King of Delhi. The new 
walls are said to have been 1^ rjaz thick, which agrees with 
my measurements of the parapets on the south-eastern side, 
which vary from 2 feet 9 inches to 3 feet 3 inches in thick- 
ness at top. According to popular tradition, Ali Muhammad 
expended about a haror of rupees, or one million pounds 
sterling, in this attempt, which he was finally obliged to 
abandon on account of its costliness. I estimate that he 
may, perhaps, have spent about one lakh of rupees, or 

I 2 

* Julien’s II wen Tlisang, II., 231. 



£10,000, in repairing tlie ramparts and in re-building the 
parapets. There is an arched gateway on the south-east 
side, which must have been built by the Musulmans, but as 
no new bricks were made by them, the cost of their work 
would have been limited to the labour alone. The ramparts 
are 18 feet thick at the base in some places, and between 14 
and 15 feet in others.* 

There are three great mounds inside the fort, and outside, 
both to the north and west, there are number of mounds of 
all sizes, from 20 feet to 1,000 feet in the diameter. To the 
north-west, distant one mile, there is a large tank called the 
Gandhdn Sdgcir, which has an area of 125 bigalis, and about 
one-quarter of a mile beyond it there is another tank called 
the Adi Sugar, which has an area of 150 bigalis. The latter 
is said to have been made by Adi Baja at the same time as 
the fort. The waters are collected by an earthen embank- 
ment faced on both sides with bricks of large size. The 
Gandhdn Sugar is also embanked both to the east and south. 
The mounds to the south of the tanks are covered with large 
bricks, both plain and moulded; but judging from their 
shapes, they must all have belonged to temples, or other 
straight walled buildings, and not to Stupas. There is 
nothing to show whether these are the remains of Buddhist 
or of Brahmanical buildings, but from their extent it is pro- 
bable that they were the former. 

According to Hwen Thsang there were only nine Brah- 
manical temples at Ahi-chhatra in A. D. 634, all of which 
w r ould appear to have been dedicated to Siva. But as Bud- 
dhism declined this number must have been increased, for I 
discovered the ruins of not less than twenty temples of various 
sizes, of which one is gigantic, four are large, five are of 
middle size, and twelve of small dimensions. Three of these 
are inside the fort, and the others are grouped together out- 
side on the west road. I made excavations in most of these 
mounds, all of which yielded moulded bricks of various 
patterns, but only two of them afforded sculptures by which 
their original purpose could be absolutely identified. These 
two temples are marked as bios. I. and £V. in my survey of 
the ruins. 

See Plate No. XL1II. for a map of Alii-cliliatra. 


Plate XLIV. 

View of the Chhalr, or Great Stupa. 


Inscribed Stone 
at Dilwan. 


Ruined Lingam Temple. 

* fl $ 

2 ^ 5 £ 

9 , & 2 J( 

5 b § 

:r f ^ 



Ft * *1 
-0 j 5 ^ vi\ 

W ? -5 'S a 

1 S <8 5 « 

3 $>*■ 

*5 a 

Pillar of Buddhist Railing 

07-d W 





Plan of Temple. 

A. del. 

Fhmczmcog^aphed a; tRe Surveyor General's Office Calcutta 



Tlie remains of No. I. temple form a mound G5 feet 9 
inclies in height above the country, and upwards of 30 feet 
above the walls of the fortress. This lofty mound stands in- 
side the fort near the middle of the north wall, and forms 
the most conspicious object amongst the ruins of the mighty 
fortress of Alii-chhatra. The floor of the temple is 60 feet 
above the ground, and at this enormous height stood a 
colossal ling am, 3 feet 6^ inches in diameter, and upwards of 8 
feet in height, which must have been visible from both east 
and west through the open doors of the temple for a distance 
of some miles. The interior of the temple is only 14 feet 4 
inches by 10^ feet. The north and south walls are 9 feet 5 
inches thick, and the east and west walls only 5 feet 9 inches ; 
but on these two sides there are open porches outside the 
two entrances which increase the thickness of the walls to 
19 feet on the west side, and to 14 feet 1 1 inches on the 
east. The exterior dimensions of the temple are 48 feet 3 
inches by 29 feet 4 inches. Prom these dimensions 

I calculate that the temple must have been about 100 feet in 
height above its own floor, or 165 feet above the country. 
The base of the stone lingam is square, the middle part oc- 
tagonal, and the upper part hemispherical. A trisul, or 
trident, is cut upon the base. The upper portion of the 
lingam is broken. The people say that it was struck by 
lightning, but from the unshattered state of the large block 
I am more disposed to ascribe the fracture to the hammer of 
the Muhammadans. 

Mound No. II., which is also inside the fort to the west 
of the large mound, is 35 feet in height, and from 5 to 10 
feet above the general line of the ramparts. It shows the 
remains of a large square building with a long flight of steps 
on the west side. No. III. mound is only 30 feet in height, 
and is covered with scrub jungle. There are traces of walls 
on the surface, but the jungle prevented their immediate ex- 
cavation. I will take an early opportunity of exploring both 
of these mounds, as I feel satisfied that they are the remains 
of large Brahmanical temples. 

No. IV. mound stands about 1,000 feet outside the west 
gate of the fort. It is 300 feet square at base, and 30 feet 
in height, and has two smaller mounds attached to the north- 
east corner. On excavating the surface I discovered the 
foundations of a temple, 11 feet square inside, with walls 34 



feet thick, and a long pedestal or raised platform for the re- 
ception of statues. The entrance is on the east side towards 
the town. Amongst the ruins I found a seated terracotta 
ligurc of Siva, 12 inches in height, with four arms and three 
eyes, and one hand holding a large lotus flower. I found 
also in red stone a small right hand grasping the hilt of a 
sword, and a left hand of three-quarter life size, grasping a 
large couch. As the last must have belonged to a figure of 
Yishnn, it is possible that the temple was dedicated to that 
god; but a projecting portion of the pedestal leads me to be- 
lieve that it must have been occupied by a lingam, and if so, 
the principal figure would have been that of Mahadeva. 
There was also a large quantity of ashes inside this temple, 
from which I infer that it was most probably destroyed by 
the Musulmans in one of their early expeditions against the 
Katehria llajputs. 

The Buddhist remains at Alii-chliatra are both more 
extensive and more ancient than those of the Brahmans. In 
my survey I have marked them by the letters of the alpha- 
bet to distinguish them from the Brahmanical ruins, which 
are numbered. Only three of the Buddhist mounds have 
been excavated, but as most of the others have furnished 
materials for the neighbouring villages, it docs not seem 
likely that their excavation would be attended with any 

The most important of the Buddhist ruins is an irregular 
shaped mound, about 1,000 feet square, from the centre of 
which rises a large Stupa of solid brick- work, which -the 
people call Chhatr. I have already identified this with the 
great Stupa which was built over the spot where Buddha 
converted the Serpent King. It is surrounded by eight 
smaller mounds, of which four would appear to he the ruins 
of Stupas, and three of temples, whilst one only is doubtful. 
Now, II wen Thsang describes the great Stupa as having on 
one side of it four small Stupas, which account agrees exactly 
with the position of the four small mounds above-mentioned. 
I have no doubt, therefore, as to the identity of the Chhatr 
mound with the Stupa of II wen Thsang, although I was 
unable to discover any certain trace of the tank called the 
Ndga-hrada or “ serpent pond” by the Chinese pilgrim. It 
is quite possible, however, that a tank may once have existed 
on the south-west side, where the ground is still very low. 



The Great ruin called Cliluitr is a mass of solid brick- 

O # 

work, 40 feet in height above the fields, and 30 feet in 
diameter at top. The original building was a hemisphere of 
50 feet diameter, which was raised upon a base or plinth 15 
feet in height. At some later period an outer casing, 12^ feet 
thick, was added, which increased the diameter to 75 feet, and 
the height of the crown of the hemisphere to 52^ feet. Allow- 
ing two-sevenths of the diameter for the height of the cupola or 
pinnacle, which is the proportion observed in the Sanclii bas- 
reliefs, the total height of the original Stupa would have been 
57 feet, and that of the later Stupa 77 feet. I made several 
superficial excavations around the base in the hope of finding 
some portions of the stone railings with which the Stupa 
was most probably surrounded, but without success. I still 
believe, however, that there must have been the usual 
Euddliist railings around this Stupa , and that a further search 
would probably bring some of the pillars to light. I found, 
however, a number of curved wedge-shaped bricks that must 
have belonged to a circle of between 15 and 1G feet in diame- 
ter, and which, I presume, are the remains of the cupola.* 

If I am right in my identification of this Stupa with 
that which was built near the Serpent Tank, its original con- 
struction must be referred to the reign of Asoka, or about 250 
B. C. A strong argument in favor of this date is the simi- 
larity of its shape to that of the Bhilsa Topes, which are un- 
doubtedly of Asoka’s age. The date of the enlargement of the 
Stupa can only be fixed approximately by inferring from 
llwen Tlisang’s silence that it must have been in «-ood order 
at the time of his visit. Admitting this to have been the 
case, the date of the enlargement cannot be placed earlier 
than about A. D. 400 to 500. 

The great Stupa attracted the attention of some British 
Officer, about 30 years ago, who dug a gallery into it, 21 feet 
in length, and then sunk a well for some unknown depth, 
which I found filled with rubbish. I made use of this 
old gallery, and continued it to the centre of the Stupa, 
where it met a shaft which I had sunk from the top. Prom, 
this point I carried the shaft downwards, making use of the 
gallery, for the removal of the bricks. At a depth of 27 feet 
from the present top, or at 7 feet below the centre of the 

# See Hate No. XL1V. for a view of- this Stupa,. 



older hemisphere, I found a low pyramidal topped vessel of 
common red unglazed earthenware, 8 inches in diameter. 
Inside this vessel there was a small steatite box containing 
many minute fragments of seed pearls, several pieces of blue 
glass, one large bead of red amber, and about a tea spoonful 
of little bits of rock crystal. Mixed with these were ten 
small cylindrical pierced heads of a dirty white colour like 
old chalk. They consist chiefly of carbonate of lime with a 
trace of some other substance, and are most probably only 
the remains of some artificial beads. The little steatite box 
is a sphere of 2 inches diameter, but rather pointed at the 
top and bottom. Its general colour is white with a few 
purple blotches. The whole is rudely ornamented, the top 
with flowers, and the bottom with animals of school-boy 
design. The inside also is rudely ornamented, but with 
simple lines only. There is no trace of any inscription. 

At 6f feet below the deposit just described, or at 13f 
feet below the centre of the hemisphere, a second deposit 
was found, imbedded in the ground immediately under the 
last course, of a globular-shaped mottled steatite vase, 85- 
inclies in diameter and G inches in height. This vase has a 
neck 3 inches in diameter inside and 2f inches in height, 
thus making the whole height of the vessel 8f inches. This 
is divided into two equal portions, the lower half having an 
inner lip, which is overlapped by the upper half. The vessel 
is quite plain, excepting only a few belts of simple lines 
which encircle it. The open mouth was found closed by the 
lid of a small dark-colored steatite vase exactly similar to 
several that were discovered in the Bhilsa Topes. Inside 
there was nothing but a hard cake of earth, 6 inches in 
diameter, mixed with small stones. A similar earthen cake, 
but only 2-| inches in diameter, was found in the earthenware 
jar of the upper deposit. What this cake may be I cannot 
at present say, but it does not effervesce with acids. 

The second Buddhist mound which has yielded important 
evidence of its former occupation is called Katdri Khera. 
It is situated 1,200 feet to the north of the old fort, and 
1,G00 feet to the east of the small village of Nasratganj. 
The mound is about 400 feet square and 20 feet in height. 
Close by there is a small pond called the 31aswdse Tdl ; but 
neither this name, nor that of Katdri Khera, would seem to 
have any reference to the old Buddhist establishment which 



formerly stood there. Unfortunately this mound has fur- 
nished bricks to the neighbouring village for many generations, 
so that hut little is now left to point out the nature of the 
original buildings. A surface excavation brought to light a 
temple 26^- feet in length by 22 feet in breadth outside, and 
11 feet square inside. The plinth is still standing 4^ feet in 
height, formed of blocks of kankar, but the walls have alto- 
gether disappeared, excepting some portions of a few courses. 
The doorway faces the east, from which I infer that the en- 
shrined statue was most probably that of the ascetic Buddha, 
who is always represented seated in a similar position under 
the holy Pipal Tree of Buddha-Gaya. I am also led to the 
same conclusion by the discovery of a broken statue of Buddha 
with two flying figures over the right shoulder, which are the 
usual accompaniments of the ascetic figures of Buddha. 
This statue is broken at the waist, and both arms are lost ; 
but the fragment is still 2 feet high and 2 feet broad, from 
which I infer that the size of the original statue was not less 
then 4 feet in height by 3 feet in breadth ; and this I believe 
to have been the principal figure of the temple. 

In the same place, five other carved and sculptured 
stones were discovered, of which one is an inscribed pillar of 
a Buddhist railing of middle age. The pillar is broken, but 
the remaining portions of the socket holes are sufficient for 
the restoration of the original dimensions. The fragment is 
1 foot 11 inches in length, with a section of 8-| inches by 4 
inches. The socket holes are 8 inches long, and 4f inches 
apart, which in a pillar of two rails would give a height of 3 
feet 2|- inches, or of 4 feet 3 inches in a pillar of three rails. 
The face of the pillar is sculptured with six rows of naked 
standing figures, there being 5 figures in the lowest row, and 
only four figures in each of the others. On one of the sides 
there is the following short inscription in four lines of the age 
of the Guptas : — 

Acharya Iudranandi Sishya Mahddari Parsicamatisya 


The last word but one might, perhaps, be read as patisya ; 
but the remainder of the inscription is quite clear. I under- 
stand it to record the gift of “ Mahddari , the disciple of the 
teacher Indranandi, to the temple ( Kottari ) of Pdrsivamati 
Perhaps the term Kottari may be preserved in the name of 
Katdri Khera , by which the mound is now known. 



The other sculptured stones are not of ranch interest. 
The largest is a broken statue of a standing figure, 3 feet 
high by 2 feet broad, which appears to be naked. The 
bead, the feet, and the right arm are gone. A second 
small stone, 1 foot long and 5 inches broad, bears the figures 
of the Navagraha, or “Aine Planets.” On the back there 
is a short inscription of only eight letters, of which two are 
somewhat doubtful. I read the whole as Sahada , Bhima, 
Devindra, but the word Bhima is very doubtful. A third 
stone, 2J feet long and 1J feet square, is the fragment of a 
large pillar, with a lion sculptured on each of its four faces. 
The naked figures of these sculptures belong to a somewhat 
late period of Buddhism, after the introduction of the Tan- 
triha doctrines, which, as we learn from Skanda Gupta’s 
inscription on the Bhitari Pillar, were prevalent during the 
time of the later Guptas, in the 3rd and 4tli centuries A. DA 
As the forms of the letters of these inscriptions are also those 
of the Gupta period, we may conclude with some certainty 
that the Kottari , or temple of Parsioamati, was erected before 
the fall of the Gupta dynasty in A. D. 319. 

Pour hundred feet to the south of the great bastion, and 
close to the south-west angle of the fort, there is another 
extensive mound, marked D in the map, upwards of 300 feet 
square and 35 feet in height above the road. The principal 
mass of ruin, which is in the middle of the west side, is the 
remains of a large temple, 40 feet square outside. In the 
middle of the south side there are the ruins of a small build- 
ing which may, perhaps, have been the entrance gateway. To 
the right and left of the entrance there are the ruins of 
two small temples, each 14 feet square outside, and 9 feet 4-| 
inches inside, raised upon a plinth 24 feet square. The 
centre of the square is open, and has evidently never been 
built upon. My excavations were too limited to ascertain 
more than I have noted above, but I propose to continue the 
exploration hereafter. I believe that this mound is the 
remains of a very large monastery with its lofty enclosed 
temple, which could not have been less than 80 or even 100 
feet in height. 

Connected with Ahi-chhatra is an inscription of the 
Gupta period on a square pillar found near the village of 

* I now (1S71) believe these naked figures to be Digambara Jain statues. I possess 
several as old as the first century before Christ. 



Dilwari, 3 /cos, or 4^ miles, to tlic south of the fort. The 
inscription consists of 14 lines of five letters each, the letters 
of one line being placed exactly under those of the line 
above, so as to form also five straight perpendicular lines. 
The stone is 2^. feet long, 1 foot broad, and 9 inches thick in 
the middle, hut the continual sharpening of tools has worn 
down the edges to a breadth of from 7 to 7^ inches. The 
inscription, which is on one of the narrow faces, has accord- 
ingly suffered in the partial loss of some of the initial and 
final letters of several lines. The other three faces of the 
stone are quite plain, and there is nothing whatever to show 
what the pillar may have been originally intended for. 

My account of Ahi-chhatra would not be complete without 
a reference to the gigantic lingam near the village of Gulariya , 
2-|- miles to the north of the fort, and to the Bri apian name 
of the village of Bhhi-laur, one mile to the east of the fort. 
Bhim-gaja and Bliim-laur are common names for the lingam 
in all the districts to the north of the Ganges. I have 
already quoted Hwen Thsang’s remark that the nine Brali- 
manical temples of Ahi-chhatra in A. D. G34 were dedicated 
to Siva, and I may now add, in illustration, that only in one 
of the many ruins about the old fort did I find a trace of tlic 
worship of any other divinity. 


Prom Ahi-c/ihatra the Chinese pilgrim proceeded in a 
south direction, a distance of from 260 to 270 li, from 23 to 
25 miles, to the Ganges, which he crossed, and then turning 
to the south-west he arrived in the kingdom of Bi-lo-shan-na. 
llis route to the south would have taken him through Aonla 
and Budaon to the Buclh Gang a (or old Ganges) somewhere 
near Saha war, a few miles below Boron, both of which places 
stood on the main stream of the Ganges so late as 400 years 
ago. As his subsequent route is said to have been to the 
south-west, I believe that he must have crossed the Ganges 
close to Saliawar, which is 42 miles from Ahi-chhatra in a 
direct line. Prom all my early enquiries I was led to believe 
that Boron was the only ancient place in this vicinity ; and 
as Hwen Thsang does not give any distance for his south- 
•west march, I concluded that Soron must have been the place 
to which he gives the name of Pi-lo-shan-na. I accordingly 

k 2 



visited Soron, which is undoubtedly a place of very great 
antiquity, but which cannot, I think, be the place visited by 
the Chinese pilgrim. I will, however, first describe Soron 
before I proceed to discuss the superior claims of the great 
ruined mound of Atranji-Kliera to be identified with the Pi- 
lo-shan-na of the Chinese pilgrim. 

Soro7i is a large town on the right, or western, bank of 
the Ganges, on the high road between Bareli and Mathura. 
The place was originally called Ukala Kshetra ; but, after the 
demon Hiranydksha had been killed by the Vardhci Avatar , 
or Boar Incarnation of Vishnu, the name was changed to 
Sukara Kshetra, or “ the place of the good deed.” The 
ancient town is represented by a ruined mound called tlio 
Kilah or “ fort,” which is one-quarter of a mile in length 
from north to south, and somewhat less in breadth. It 
stands on the high bank of the old bed of the Ganges, which 
is said by some to have flowed immediately under it so late 
as 200 years ago. The modern town stands at the foot of the 
old mound on the west and south sides, and probably con- 
tains about 5,000 inhabitants. There arc no dwellings on 
the old mound, which is occupied only by the temple of Sita - 
Rdmji and the tomb of Sliekh Jamal. But it is covered with 
broken bricks of large size, and the foundations of walls 
can be traced in all directions. The mound is said to bo 
the mins of a fort built by Baja Somadatta of Soron many 
hundred years ago. But the original settlement of the 
place is very much older, being attributed to the fabu- 
lous Raja Vena Chakravartti, who plays such a con- 
spicuous part in all the legends of North Bihar, Qudli, and 

The temples of Soron are very numerous, and several 
of them are said to be old. But the only temples of 
any consequence are those of Sita-Rdmji, on the top of 
the mound, and Vardhaji to the north-west of the city. 
A great annual fair is held near the latter temple on the 
lltli of the waxing moon of Mdrgasirsha , in remembrance 
of the destruction of the demon by the Boar Incarnation of 
Vishnu. It contains a statue of Vardiha-Lakshmi , and is 
visited by crowds of pilgrims. The temple of Sita- Rdmji, 
which is said to have been ruined by Aurang Shah (or 
Aurangzib) was restored by a wealthy Baniya, only four years 
ago, by building up the spaces between the pillars with plain 



white- washed walls. Internally the temple is a square of 27 
feet supported on 16 stone pillars ; hut the people say that the 
original building was much larger, and that it contained 
32 pillars. This account is most probably correct, as the 
foundations of the walls of the sanctum, or shrine, are still 
standing at the back, or west side, of the temple. There 
are also 10 superfluous pillars inside the temple, of which 
two support the broken architraves, and eight are built into 
the corner spaces of the walls. The style of these columns 
is similar to that of the set of pillars in the south-east corner 
of the quadrangle of the Great Kuth Mosque at Delhi, 
which bear the date of Sam vat 1121, or A. D. 1007. That 
this date is not too early for the Soron temple is proved by 
the inscriptions of various pilgrims who have visited the 
shrine. As the oldest legible record bears the date of Samvat 
1226, or A. D. 1169, the date of the erection of the temple 
cannot, therefore, be placed later than A. D. 1000. 

These pilgrims’ records are generally short and uninter- 
esting, hut as there are no less than 38 of them, hearing 
dates which range from A. D. 1169 to 1511, they become 
valuable for tracing the history of the temple. The earliest date 
after the Muhammadan conquest is A. D. 1241, and from 
that time down to A. D. 1290 there are no less than 15 dated 
records, showing that Soron continued to be a much fre- 
quented place of pilgrimage during the whole period of the 
Ghori dynasty, wLich ended in A. I). 1289. But during the 
rule of the next two dynasties, the Khiljis and Tucjhlaks, 
there is only one inscription, dated in A. D. 1375, in the 
reign of Tiruz. Now, as nearly one-half of this period was 
occupied by the reigns of the cruel despot Ala-ud-din Kliilji 
and the ferocious madman Muhammad Tughlak, it seems 
only reasonable to conclude that the people were deterred 
from making their usual pilgrimages by the persecution of 
their Muhammadan rulers. The next record is dated in 
A. D. 1429, and from that time down to 1511 there are 16 dated 
inscriptions ; hut as no less than 13 of this number belong 
to the reign of Bahlol Lodi, I infer that the rule of the Syad 
dynasty was not favourable to Hindu pilgrimages. I infer 
also that the temple must have been destroyed during the 
reign of the intolerant Sikandar Lodi, because the series of 
inscriptions closes with A. D. 1511, or just six years before 
the end of his reign. Had the temple existed during the 



happy century when the sceptre of India was swayed by the 
tolerant Akbar, the indifferent Jahangir, and the politic Shalt 
Jahan, it is almost certain that some records of the pilgrims’ 
visits would have been inscribed on the pillars of the temple. 
Por this reason I feel satisfied that the destruction of the 
great temple of Soron must be assigned to an earlier period 
than that of the bigoted Aurang Shah. 



The great mound of ruins called Atranji-Khera is situated 
on the right, or west bank, of the Kali Nadi, four miles 
to the south of Kcirsdnci, and eight miles to the north of 
Eyta, on the Grand Trunk Boad. It is also 15 miles to 
the south of Soron, and 43 miles to the north-west of Sanlcisa 
in a direct line, the road distance being not less than 48 or 
50 miles. In the Ain A/cbari Atranji is recorded as one of 
the Parganalis of Kanoj, under the name of Sikandarpur 
Atrcji. Sikandarpur , which is now called Sikandrabad, is 
a village on the left bank of the Kali Nadi opposite 
Atranji. Prom this it would appear that Atranji was still 
occupied in the reign of Akbar. The Parganah was after- 
wards called Karsdna, but it is now known by the name of 
Sahdwar Karsdna, or of Sahdwar only. The name given by 
the Chinese pilgrim is Fi-lo-shan-na, for which M. Julien 
proposes to read Virasana .* So far back as 1848 I pointed out 
that, as both pil and kar arc Sanskrit names for an elephant, 
it was probable that Filosana might be the same as Karsdna, 
the large village which I have already mentioned as- being 
four miles to the north of Atranji Kliera. The chief objec- 
tion to this identification is the fact that Karsdna is appa- 
rently not a very old place, although it is sometimes called 
Deora Karsdna, a name which implies the possession of a 
temple of note at some former period. It is, however, 
possible that the name of Karsdna may once have been joined 
to Atranji, in the same way that we find Sikandarpur Atreji 
in the Ain Akbari. As the identification of Karsdna with 
Filosana is purely conjectural, it is useless to hazard any 
more speculations on this subject. The bearing and distance 
from Sankisa, as recorded by Hwen Thsang, point to the 
neighbourhood of Sirpura, near which there is a small vil- 
lage called Filkuni or Filokuni, which is the PilukJioni of 

* Julien’s II wen Thsang, II., 235. 



our maps. It is, however, a very petty place ; and, although it 
hoasts of a small khera, or mound of ruins, it cannot, X 
think, have ever heen more than one-fourth of the circuit of 
two miles which II wen Thsang attributes to Pi-lo-shan-na. 
But there are two strong points in its favour, namely, 1st, 
its position which agrees both in hearing and distance with 
the Chinese pilgrim’s account; and 2nd, its name, which is 
almost identical with the old name, sh being very commonly 
pronunced as kh, so that Ilwen Thsang’s Piloshanna would 
usually be pronounced Pilokhana. 

In proposing Atranji- Khera as the site of the ancient 
Piloshanna , I am influenced solely by the fact that this is the 
only large place besides Soron of any antiquity in this part 
of the country. It is true that the distance from Sankisa is 
somewhat greater than that recorded by the Chinese pilgrim, 
namely, 45 miles, instead of 33 miles, but the hearing is 
exact ; and as it is quite possible that there may he some 
mistake in Ilwen Tlisang’s recorded distance, I think that 
Atranji-Khera has a better claim than any other place to he 
identified with the ancient Piloshanna. I have not visited the 
place myself, as I was not aware of its importance when I was 
in its neighbourhood. I have had it inspected by a trust- 
worthy servant, whose report shows that Atranji must once 
have heen a place of considerable extent and importance. 
According to him, the great mound of Atranji is 3,250 in 
length, and 2,550 in breadth at the base. Now, these dimen- 
sions would give a circuit of about two miles, which is the 
very size of Piloshanna as recorded by Hwcn Thsang. Its 
highest point is 44 feet 9 inches, which, if my identification 
is correct, should he the ruins of the great Stupa of Asoka, 
upwards of 100 feet in height, as this loftly tower is said to 
have heen situated inside a monastery in the middle of the 
town. Outside the town there were two other monasteries, 
inhabited by 300 monks. These may, perhaps, he represented 
by two small mounds which still exist on the east side of 
the Great Khera. To the south there is a third mound, 
165 feet in length by 105 feet in breadth, which may 
possibly he the remains of one or more of the five Bramanical 
temples described by Hwen Thsang. 

Atranji-Khera had two gates, — one to the east, towards 
the Kali Nadi, and the other to the south. The foundation 
of the place is attributed to Raja Vena Chakravartti. 



The mound is covered with broken bricks of large size and 
fragments of statues, and old coins are said to be frequently 
found. All the existing fragments of statues are said to be 
Brahmanical. There is a temple of Mahadeo on the mound, 
and there are five lingams in different places, of which one 
is G feet in height. The principal statue is that of a four- 
armed female called Devi, but which, as she is represented 
treading upon a prostrate figure, is most probably Durga .* 

The only objection to the identification of Atranji with 
Piloshanna is the difference between the distance of 200 li, 
or 33 miles, as stated by Hwen Thsang, and the actual dis- 
tance of 43 miles direct, or about 48 or 50 miles by road. I 
have already suggested the possibility of there being some 
mistake in the recorded distance of Hwen Thsang, but per- 
haps an equally probable explanation may be found in the 
difference of the length of the yojana. Hwen Thsang states 
that he allowed 40 Chinese li to the yojana ; but if the old 
yojana of Ptohilkhand differed from that of the Central Doab 
as much as the kos of these districts now differ, his distances 
would have varied by half a mile in every kos, or by two 
miles in every yojana, as the ftoliilkhand kos is only 1^ mile, 
while that of the Doab is two miles — the latter being one- 
third greater. Now, if we apply this difference to Hwen 
Thsang’s measurement of 200 li, or 33 miles, we increase the 
distance at once to 44 miles, which agrees with the direct 
measured distance on the map. I confess, however, that I 
am rather inclined to believe in the possibility of there being 
a mistake in Hwen Thsang’s recorded distance, as I find 
exactly the same measurement of 200 li given as the distance 
between Sankisa and Kanoj. Now, the two distances are 
precisely the same, that is, Sankisa is exactly midway between 
Atranji and Kanoj ; and as the latter distance is just 50 miles 
by my measurement along the high road, the former must 
also he the same. I w 7 ould, therefore, suggest the probability 
that both of these distances should be 300 li, or 50 miles, 
instead of 200 li as recorded in the text. In favor of this 
proposed correction I may cite the testimony of the earlier 
Chinese pilgrim Pa Hian, who makes the distance from San- 

* At my request Atranji was visited in 1865 by my friend Mr. C. Horne, then Judge of 
Manipuri, whose account of the ruined mound will be found in the Bengal Asiatic Society’s 
Journal, 1866, p. 165. The mound has been dug up in all directions for many centu- 
ries in search of bricks, and it was with difficulty that an entre brick was found for 


A Cunningham, del 

Litho at the Survr. Genl’s. Office. Cal. September 1871. 



kisa to Kauoj 7 yojanas, or 49 miles. At II wen Thsang’s 
own valuation of 40 li to the yojana, this measurement would 
give 2S0 li ; and as Fa Ilian does not record half yojanas, 
we may increase the distance by half a yojana, or 20 li, 
which brings the total up to 300 li, or exactly 50 miles. 

But whatever may he the true explanation of the differ- 
ence between the actual distances and those recorded by Hwcn 
Thsang, there still remains the important fact that San/cisa 
was exactly midway between Kanoj and Piloshanna just as 
it now is midway between Kanoj and Atranji. If we couple 
this absolute identity of position with the fact that Atranji 
is the only old place in the part of the country indicated 
by Hwen Thsang, we can scarcely arrive at any other con- 
clusion than that the great ruined mound of Atranji is the 
site of the ancient Piloshanna. 


The site of San/cisa was discovered by me in 1 842, but 
it was not until the end of 1862 that I got an opportunity 
of exploring the ruins at leisure. The name of the place is 
written Seng-Jcia-she by the Chinese pilgrims, a spelling which 
is well preserved in the San/cisa of the present day, and which 
represents, with considerable faithfulness, the San/cdsya of 
Sanskrit. Hwen Thsang calls it also by the name of Kie-pi- 
tha, or Kapitha, of which I was unable to discover any 
trace.*' San/cisa was one of the most famous places of Bud- 
dhist pilgrimage, as it was there that Buddha was believed 
to have descended from the Trayastrinsa heaven by the lad- 
der of gold or gems, accompanied by the gods Indra and 
Brahma. According to this curious legend, Mdyd, the 
mother of Buddha, died seven days after his birth, and 
ascended at once to the Trayastrinsa heaven, the abode of the 
33 gods, of whom Indra w r as the chief. But as she had no 
opportunity in this abode of the gods of hearing the law of 
Buddha, her pious son asoended to the Trayastrinsa heaven 
and preached for thre^ months in her behalf. He then descend- 
ed to the earth with the gods Brahma and Indra by three stair- 
cases, one of which was formed either of crystal or precious 
stones, another of gold, and the third of silver. According 

* Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 237. — In the Brihaj-Jatalca it is said that the fatuous 
astronomer, Varaha Miliira, “obtained the gracious favour of the sun at Kapilikaka” I pre- 
sume that this is the Kic-pi-tha of the Chinese pilgrim. Dr. Kern thinks that Varaha 
Mihira was very probably educated there. Saukisa must at any rate have been a place of 
considerable importance in the 6th century. 



to Fa Ilian,* Buddha descended by a staircase formed 
of the “ seven precious things,” that is, the precious metals 
and precious gems ; whilst Brahma accompanied him on his 
right side by a silver ladder, and Indra on his left by a golden 
one. But Hwen Thsangf assigns the golden staircase to 
Buddha himself, the silver staircase on the right to Brahma, 
and the crystal staircase on the left to Indra. The descent was 
accompanied by a multitude of Devos, who scattered showers 
of flowers on all sides as they sang the praises of Buddha. 

Such arc the main points of this curious legend, which 
is believed as firmly in Barma at the present day, as it was 
by Asoka 2,100 years ago, or by the Chinese pilgrims of the 
5th, Gth, and 7th centuries of our era. According to 
Fa Ilian, the three staircases disappeared under ground imme- 
diately after the descent, leaving only seven steps visible. 
Apparently these seven steps must have existed in the time 
of Asoka, as ho is reported to have been anxious to behold 
their foundations, and accordingly sent men to dig down to 
their base. But the diggers “ reached a yellow spring 
without being able to penetrate to the foundation.” The 
King, however, “ felt sensible of a great increase of his faith 
and veneration,” and therefore built a chapel over the three 
staircases, and upon the middle one erected a full length 
statue of Buddha GO feet high. According to II wen Thsang’s 
account, the three staircases still existed in his time (A. D. 
G3G), but were completely sunk in the earth. On their 
foundations, however, the pious Kings of different countries 
had erected three staircases, similar to the first, of bricks 
and stones, ornamented with many precious things. The 
height of these staircases was about 70 feet. Over them 
there was a Vihdr containing statues of Buddha, Brahma, and 
Indra, who were represented leaning forward as if about to 
descend. The Barmese say that the descent took place at 
the full moon of Thadinghjut (October), and that the 
feet of the steps were at the gate of the city of Thing -Jca- 
tha-na-go, or Singknsanagara.l II wen Tlisang adds that the 
three staircases were placed in a line from north to south, 
with the descent facing the east, and that they stood within 
the walls of a great monastery. 

* Beal's translation, C. XVII. 
t Julien’s translation, II., 237 

J Bishop Bigantlct’s Life f the Barmese Buddha, p. IkO 



Close to tlie staircases tliere was a stone pillar, 70 feet 
in height, which had been erected by King Asoka. It was 
formed of a hard, fine-grained reddish stone, and had a bril- 
liant polish. On its summit was a lion, who was seated facing 
the steps. There were figures also sculptured inside the pillar 
with marvellous art, which were visible only to the virtuous. 
This is Hwen Thsang’s account, with which Fa Hian’s agrees 
in almost every particular ; but he adds a curious legend 
about a dispute between the Srdmanas and heretics. “ If,” 
said the former, “ this place ought to be the abode of the 
Sramanas, let a supernatural testimony proclaim it. They 
had no sooner finished this speech than the lion on the 
summit uttered a loud roar.” 

There were several Stupas at Sankisa, of which the most 
famous were the following : 

1st. — On the spot where Buddha descended from the 
Trayastrinsa heaven, accompanied by Indra and Brahma. 
This Stupa is not mentioned by ILwen Thsang, but it is 
noticed by Fa Hian, and in the Barmese life of Buddha. 

2 ncl. — On the spot where the four Buddhas had formerly 
sat and taken exercise. 

3rd — At the place where Buddha bathed. 

4 th and 5th. — Two small Stupas of Indra and Brahma. 

6th. — On the spot where the female mendicant JPundari- 
kavarnd obtained the first sight of Buddha on his descent. 

7 th. — On the spot where Buddha cut his hair and nails. 

The only other place of note at Sankisa was the tank of 
a Ndga , or serpent, which was situated to the south-east of 
the great Stupa. Fa Hian says that this Ndga had white 
ears; that he lived in the dwelling-place of the “ecclesi- 
astics,” and that he conferred fertility and abundance on the 
“ country by causing gentle showers to fall upon the fields, 
and securing them from all calamities.” A chapel was 
erected for his use, and he was said to make his appearance 
once a year. “ When the ecclesiastics perceive him, they 
present him with cream in a copper vessel.” 

Hwen Thsang’s account of Sankisa is unfortunately so 
meagre that we have but little to guide us in our attempt to 
identify the holy places of his time with any of the ruins 

l 2 



of the present clay. The only spot that can he identified 
with any certainty is the tank of the Ndga, which still exists 
to the son tli-easfc of the ruins, in the very position described 
by Hwen Thsang. The name of the Ndga is Kdrewar, and 
that of the tank Kdndaiya Tdl. Milk is offered to him 
during every day of Vaisdkh, and on the Nag-panckami of 
Sravana , and “ at any other time when rain is wanted.” In 
a note on the word Chaurdsi Sir Henry Elliot'* has given an 
account of Sankisa, in which he asserts that this Ndga is 
the common Nag of the Hindu worship to w T hom the Ndig- 
panchami is specially dedicated. But this opinion is cer- 
tainly wrong, as the above account shows that the Sankisa 
Ndga of the present day is propitiated with offerings of milk 
whenever rain is wanted, just as he was in A. I). 400, when 
Ea Ilian visited the place. This, therefore, is not the com- 
mon Ndga of Hindu worship, but the local Ndga of Sanlcisa, 
who is commonly invoked as Kdrewar Nag Devata. 

Before attempting to indentify the site of the great 
monastery with its three famous staircases, its lion pillar and 
attendant Stupas, it will he better to describe the place as it 
is at present, although hut little is now left of the great city 
of Sankisa with all its magnificent monuments. The small 
village which still preserves the name of Sankisa is perched 
upon a lofty mound of ruins 41 feet in height above the fields. 
This mound, which is called the Kilah, or “ fort,” is 1,500 
feet in length from west to east, and 1,000 feet in breadth. f 
On the north and west faces the sides are steep, but on the other 
faces the slope is much more easy. Due south from the 
centre of the Kilah, at a distance of 1,600 feet, there is a 
mound of solid brick-work which is crowned by a modern 
temple dedicated to Bisdri Devi, who is described as a goddess 
of great power. At 400 feet to the north of the temple 
mound there is a capital of an ancient pillar bearing the 
figure of an elephant, standing, but both his trunk and tail 
are wanting. The capital itself is of the w T ell known bell- 
shape, corded or reeded perpendicularly, with an abacus of 
honeysuckle similar to that of the Allahabad pillar. The 
figure of the elephant is by far the best representation of that 
animal that I have seen in any Indian sculpture. The veins 
of the legs arc carefully chiselled, and the toes of the feet 

* Glossary, p. 154. 

f See Plate XLV. for a map of Sankisa. 


f'^ar.e XLVI 


A. Cunningham, del. 

Fitoto zmcograpke d at tke Sux-veyor General’s Office Calcutta . 



are well and faithfully represented, but the loss of the trunk 
prevents us from forming a decided opinion as to its excel- 
lence as a work of art. If we may judge from the position 
of the legs, the animal was most probably represented as 
standing still with his trunk hanging down.'* The stone is a 
line-grained sandstone of reddish hue, and has been very 
highly polished. The bell-capital is low, its breadth being 
greater than its height, in which particular it resembles the 
Asoka Pillar of Navandgarh Lauriyci, to the north of Bettiali. 
Taking all these circumstances into consideration along with 
the superior execution of the work, I feel satisfied that this 
capital is of the same age as the well known Asoka Pillars 
of Allahabad and Navandgarh. 

Due south from the temple of Bisari Devi, at a dis- 
tance of 200 feet, there is a small mound of ruins which 
appears to he the remains of a Stupa. Due east from the 
temple 600 feet, there is an oblong mound 600 feet in length 
by 500 feet in breadth, which is known by the name of 
Nivi-ka-kot. Nhri I believe to have been the name of 
the man who formerly brought this piece of ground into 
cultivation ; and Eot, in the phraseology of Sankisa, means 
simply any mound of ruins, and is applied to all the isolated 
portions of the ramparts. Nivi-ka-kot would, however, appear 
to be the remains of some large enclosed building, such 
as a Buddhist monastery. It is covered with broken bricks 
of large size, and a few fragments of stone ; hut I could 
not trace any remains of walls on the surface. At the 
south-east and north-east angles of Nivi-ka-kot there are 
large circular mounds which are probably the remains of 
Stupas from which all the available bricks have been 
removed ; and at a short distance to the north there is a third 
mound of the same character. 

The Kilah and the different mounds of all sizes around 
the temple form a mass of ruin 3,000 feet in length by 2,000 
feet in breadth, or nearly 2 miles in circuit. But this was 
only the central portion of the ancient city of Sankisa, com- 
prising the citadel and the religious buildings that were clus- 
tered around the three holy staircases. The city itself, which 
would appear to have surrounded this central mound on all 
sides, was enclosed with an earthen rampart, 18,900 feet, or 

* See Plate No. XLVI. for a side view of this capital. — See also Fergussou’s History of 
Architecture, II., 459, No. 970, for a front view. 



upwards of 3^ miles in circuit. The greater part of this 
rampart still remains, the shape being a tolerably regular 
dodecagon. On three sides, to the east, the north-east, 
and the south-east, there are breaks or openings in the line of 
rampart which are traditionally said to be the positions of 
the three gates of the city. In proof of the tradition, the 
people refer to the village of Paor-Kheria, or “ Gate-village ,” 
which is just outside the south-east gap in the ramparts. 
But the name is pronounced Paor, and not Paur, and may, 
therefore refer to the staircases or steps ( Paori), and not to 
the gate. The Kali or Kdlindri Nadi flows past the south- 
west corner of the ramparts from the Pdjghdt, which is half 
a mile distant, to the Kakra Ghat , which is rather more than 
one mile to the south of the line of ramparts. 

To the north-west, three-quarters of a mile distant, stands 
the large mound of Agahat, which is 40 feet in height, and 
rather more than half a mile in diameter at base. The name 
of the old town is said to have been Agahat , but the place is 
now called Agahat Sarai (Agahat of the maps) from a 
modern Sarai, which was built in A. H. 1080, or A. D. 1669, 
on the north-east corner of the mound, by the ancestor of 
the present Pathan Zamindar. The people say that before 
this the place had been deserted for several centuries ; but as 
I obtained a tolerably complete series of the copper coins of 
the Muhammadan Kings of Delhi and Jonpur, I presume 
that it could not have been deserted for any very long time. 
The mound is covered wtih broken bricks of large size, which 
alone is a sure test of antiquity : and as it is of the same 
height as that of Sanlcisa, the people are most probably right 
in their assertion that the two places are of the same age. 
In both mounds are found the same old coins without any 
inscriptions, the more ancient being square pieces of silver 
covered with various punch marks, and the others square 
pieces of copper that have been cast in a mould, — all of 
which are, in my opinion, anterior to the invasion of Alex- 
ander the Great. 

In identifying Sankisa with the Sangkasya of the 
Pdmdyana and the Seng-kia-she of the Chinese, we are sup- 
ported, not only by its absolute identity of name, but like- 
wise by its relative position with regard to three such well 
known places as Mathura, Kannj, and Ahichhatra. In size, 
also, it agrees very closely with the measurement given by 



II wen Tlisang ; bis circuit of 20 li, or 3^ miles, being only a 
little less than my measurement of 18,000 feet, or 3^ miles. 
There can be no doubt, therefore, that the place is actually 
the same ; but in attempting to identify the sites of any of 
the holy spots mentioned by Hwen Tbsang, I find myself 
baffled at the outset by the indefinitencss as well as the 
meagreness of the pilgrim’s descriptions. It is liis usual 
practice to state the relative bearings and distances of most 
of the chief places of Buddhist veneration, but in describing 
Sankisa be bas given only one bearing and not a single dis- 
tance. The tank of the Nag a is the one solitary spot that 
can be identified with certainty, the sites of all the rest being 
only guesses of more or less probability. 

But tbe difficulty regarding the identification of the 
Asoka Pillar is of a different kind. Both of tbe Chinese 
pilgrims make mention of only one pillar at Sankisa, which 
was crowned with tbe figure of a lion, and Pa Ilian records a 
silly legend which refers to tbe miraculous roar of this lion 
statue. Now, tbe only piece of an Asoka Pillar at present 
existing is tbe elephant capital, which I have already des- 
cribed, and which, however absurd it may seem, I think may 
possibly be the lion pillar of the Chinese pilgrims. The 
reasons which induce me to think so are the following : Pirst, 
the elephant capital is undoubtedly much older than the date 
of either of the pilgrims, and yet, if it is not the same as the 
lion capital, it has been left altogether undescribed by them, 
although its great size could scarcely have allowed it to re- 
main unnoticed ; second, the height of the elephant pillar 
would seem to correspond very closely with that of the 
lion pillar, as recorded by Pa Ilian, who calls it 30 cubits, 
or from 45 to 60 feet according to the value of the Chinese 
chlii. Now, the diameter of the neck of the elephant pillar 
is 2 feet 9^ inches, which, compared with the dimensions of 
the Allahabad pillar, 2 feet 2 inches neck diameter, to 35 feet 
of height, gives a total for the shaft of the Sankisa Pillar of 
44 feet 3 inches. By adding to this the height of the capital, 
we obtain 52^ feet as the probable height of the Sankisa 
Pillar.* Third, as the trunk of the elephant has long been 
lost, it is possible that it was missing before the time of the 
Chinese pilgrims, and if so, the nature of the animal might 

* The bell-capital with its honey-snckle ornamented abacus is 3 feet 10 inches high, and 
the same in diameter. The elephant is 4 feet 4 inches in height, making the total height 
of capital S feet 3 inches. 



easily have been mistaken at a height of 50 feet above the 
ground. Indeed, supposing the pillar to be the same, this 
is the only way in which I can account for the mistake 
about the animal. But, if the pillar is not the same, the 
silence of both pilgrims regarding this magnificent elephant 
pillar seems to me quite unaccountable. On the whole, 
therefore, I am inclined to believe that the elephant’s trunk 
having been long lost, the nature of the animal was mis- 
taken when viewed from a distance of 50 feet beneath. 
This is confirmed by the discrepancy in the statements of 
the two pilgrims regarding the capital of one of the Srdvasti 
pillars, which Ea Ilian calls an ox, and II wen Tlisang an 

Admitting, then, that this elephant capital is not im- 
probably the same as the lion pillar described lay the Chinese 
pilgrims, we have a clue to the site of the great monastery 
which would seem to have enclosed within its walls the great 
stone pillar as well as the three holy staircases. I infer, 
therefore, that the temple of Bisdri Devi most probably 
occupies the site of the three staircases, and that the three 
mounds which stand to the east of the Nivi-Jca-kot may be 
the remains of the three Stupas which were erected on the 
three other holy spots of Sankisa, which have already been 
described. I made several excavations about the different 
mounds just noticed, but without any success. 

I made also a careful but an unsuccessful search for 
some trace of the base of the stone pillar. The people were 
unanimous that the elephant capital had been in its present 
position beyond the memory of any one now living, and most 
of them added that it now stands in its original position. 
But there were a few men who pointed to a spot on the west 
of the village, or Kilah mound, as the original site of the 
capital. Here, indeed, there is an octagonal hole in a small 
mound, from which the bricks of a solid foundation have 
been removed. If any dependence could be placed upon 
this statement, the mound on which the village now stands 
would almost certainly be the site of the great monastery 
with its three holy staircases, and the three mounds to the 
east of Nivi-ka-kot would still represent the three Stupas. 
The main objection to our accepting this statement as correct 
is the apparent want of all object in the removal of the 

* Beal’s Fa Ilian, C. XVII., p. 65 ; anil Julicu’s Hwen Tlisang, II., p. 239. 

Plate XLVII. 


'v HtxrmTx y 

W Tarnbmi 






MakJulurn Jahaniyw 



A Cunningham del: 

Litho. at the Survr. Genl’s. Office. Cal. November 1371 



elephant capital to any other site. It is, however, quite pos- 
sible that the capital may have been stopped on its way to 
the temple of Mah&deva, near the Naga mound and tank. 
The temple of Bisdri Devi would then he the site of one 
of the ten ancient Brahmanical fanes whicli aro described 
by Hwen Thsang. Altogether, this is, perhaps, a more pro- 
bable solution of the difficulties of the case than that first 
described.* * * § 

In his description of Sankisa, Hwen Thsang mentions 
a curious fact, that the Brahmans who dwelt near the great 
monastery were “ many tens-of-thousands” in number. As 
an illustration of this statement, I may mention that the 
people have a tradition that Sankisa was deserted from 1S00 
to 1900 years ago, and that 1300 years ago, or about A. D. 
560, it was given by a Kayath to a body of Brahmans. They 
add also that the population of the village of JPaor-Kheria 
is known to have been wholly Brahman until a very recent 


Of the great city of Kanoj, which for many hundred 
years was the Hindu Capital of Northern India, the existing 
remains are few and unimportant. In A. D. 1016, when 
Mahmud of Ghazni approached Kanoj, the historian relates 
that “ he there saw a city which raised its head to the skies, 
and which in strength and structure might justly boast to 
have no equal. ”f Just one century earlier, or in A. D. 915, 
Kanoj is mentioned by Masudi as the capital of one of the 
Kings of India, and about A. D. 900 Ahu Zaid, on the 
authority of Ibn Wahab, calls “ Kaduge, a great city in the 
kingdom of Gozar .” At a still earlier date, in A. D. 634, 
we have the account of the Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thsang, 
who describes Kanoj as being 20 li, or 3| miles, in length, and 
4 or 5 li, or three-quarter of a mile, in breadth. The city was 
surrounded by strong walls and deep ditches, and was washed 
by the Ganges along its eastern face.J The last fact is cor- 
roborated by Pa Hian, who states that the city touched the 
Biver R eng (Ganges) when he visited it in A. D. 400. § 

* I have already noticed, p. 272, that the Barmese Life of Buddha fixes the point of 
descent at the “gate of the city,’’ and this position seems also to be indicated by the still 
existing name of Paor-lcheria, or “ Staircase Village,” which is situated just outside the 
south-east opening, or gate, in the earthen ramparts. — See Plate No. XLV. 

t Briggs’s Ferishta, I., p. 57. 

J Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., p. 243. 

§ Beal’s Fa Hian, C. XVIII., p. 70. 



Kanoj is also mentioned by Ptolemy, about A. D. 140, as 
Kanogiza. But the earliest notice of the place is undoubt- 
edly the old familiar legend of the Puranas, which refers 
the Sanskrit name of Kanya-Kubja, or the “ hump-backed 
maiden” to the curse of the sage Vayu on the hundred 
daughters of Kusanabha. 

At the time of Hwen Thsang’s visit, Kanoj was the 
capital of Baja Marsha Vardhana , the most powerful sover- 
eign in Northern India. The Chinese pilgrim calls him a 
Fei-she, or Vaisya, but it seems probable that he must have 
mistaken the Vaisa, or Bais, Bajput, for the Vaisya, or Bais, 
which is the name of the mercantile class of the Hindus ; 
otherwise Harsha Yardliana’s connexion by marriage with 
the Bajput families of Malwa and Balabhi would have been 
quite impossible.* Baiswara, the country of the Bais Baj- 
puts, extends from the neighbourhood of Lucknow to Khara 
Manikpur, and thus comprizes nearly the whole of Southern 
Oudh. The Bais Bajputs claim descent from the famous 
Sdlivahan, whose capital is said to have been Daundia-Khera, 
on the north bank of the Ganges. Their close proximity 
to Kanoj is in favour of the sovereignty which they claim 
for their ancestors over the whole of the Gangetic Doab from 
Delhi to Allahabad. But their genealogical lists are too 
imperfect, and most probably also too incorrect, to enable 
us to identify any of their recorded ancestors with the 
Princes of Harsha Yardhana’s family. 

The vast empire which Harsha Vardhana raised during 
his long reign of 42 years, between A. D. G07 and 648, is 
described by Hwen Tlisang as extending from the foot of 
the Kashmir Hills to Assam, and from Nepal to the Narbada 
Biver. He intimidated the Baja of Kashmir into surrender- 
ing the tooth of Buddha, and his triumphal procession from 
Pataliputra to Kanoj was attended by no less than 20 tribu- 
tary Bajas from Assam and Magadha on the east, to Jaland- 
har on the west. In the plenitude of his power, Harsha 
Vardhana invaded the countries to the south of the Narbada, 
where he was successfully opposed by Baja Fulakesi, and 
after many repulses was obliged to retire to his own king- 
dom. This account of Hwen Thsang is most singularly 

* I have no doubt on this subject now (1871), as there is Indian Sanskrit authority for 
the intermarriage with the Malwa family. 



corroborated in every particular by several ancient inscrip- 
tions of the Clialukya Itajas of Kalyan. According to these 
inscriptions, llaja Vikramaditya, the grandson of Palakesi 
Vallablia , gained the title of Parameswara, “ by the defeat 
of Sri Harsha Yardhana, famous in the north countries.”* * * § 
Now Vikramaditya’s reign is known to have commenced in 
Sake 514, or A. D. 592, as one of his inscriptions is dated 
in Sake 530, or A. D. 608, which is called the 16th year of 
his reign ;f and as his grandson did not succeed to the throne 
until the Sake year 618, or A. D. 696, it is certain that 
Vikramaditya must have been a contemporary of Harsha 
Vardhana throughout the greater part, if not the whole, of 
his reign. The unusually long reigns of the earlier Clialukya 
Princes have led Mr. Walter Elliot to suspect the accuracy 
of the dates, although, as he points out, “ the succeeding 
dates tally with each other in a way that affords the strongest 
presumption of their freedom from any material error.” The 
question of the accuracy of these dates is now most satisfac- 
torily confirmed by the unimpeachable testimony of the con- 
temporary record of II wen Thsang, which I have quoted 

In determining the period of Harslia’s reign, between 
the years 607 and 648 A. H., I have been guided by the 
following evidence : 1st, the date of his death is fixed 
by the curious reported fulfilment of Hwen Thsang’s dream, $ 
and by the report of the Chinese embassy §. 2nd, in speak- 
ing of Harsha’ s career, the pilgrim records that from the 
time of, his accession Harsha was engaged in continual war 
for 5| years, and that afterwards for about 30 years he reign- 
ed in peace. This statement is repeated by Hwen Thsang, 
when on his return to China, on the authority of the King 
himself, who informed him that he had then reigned for 
upwards of 30 years, and that the quinquennial assembly 
then collected was the sixth which he had convoked. Prom 
these different statements it is certain that at the date of 
Hwen Thsang’s return to China, in A. D. 640, Harsha had 

* Bombay Asiatic Society’s Journal, III., 206. 

f Boyal Asiatic Society’s Journal, IV., 10. 

J See the discussion on this date in my “ Ancient Geography of India,” Appendix^ 
p. 56a. 

§ Journal, “ Asiatic Society,” Bengal, 1837, p. 69,— anonymous translation. See also 
Journal Asiatique, 1839, p. 39S, French translation by M. Pauthier. 

M 2 



reigned upwards of 30 years, and somewliat less than 35 
years. His accession must, therefore, he placed between 
A. 1). 605 and 610. 3rd, now, in the middle of this very 
period, in A. D. 607, as we learn from Ahu Pdlian, was 
established the Sri JELarsha era, which was still prevalent 
in Mathura and Kanoj in the beginning of the 11th century. 
Considering the exact agreement of the names and dates, 
it is impossible to avoid coming to the conclusion that the 
Harsha , who established an era in Kanoj in A. D. 607, was 
the great King Harsha Vardhana who reigned at Kanoj 
during the first half of the seventh century. 

Hwen Tlisang adds some particulars regarding the 
family of Harsha Vardhana, which induce me to think it 
probable that it may he identified with one of the dynasties 
whose names have been preserved in the genealogies of the 
Kajavali. The names differ in the various copies, hut they 
agree generally in making Raj Sing, who reigned only nine 
years, the predecessor of Kara or Kari Sing, who is recorded 
to have reigned for 44 or 45 years. Kow, according to Hwen 
Thsang, the predecessor and elder brother of Harsha Var- 
dhana was Rdjya Vardhana, who was assassinated shortly 
after his accession. Here both the names of these two Kings 
and the lengths of their reigns agree so well together as to 
suggest the probability of their identity. In most copies 
of the Ptajavali, this dynasty of six Kings, of which Raja and 
Kara are the 3rd and 4th names, is made the immediate 
predecessor of the Great Tomar dynasty, whose accession 
lias already been assigned in my account of the Kings of 
Delhi to the year 736 A. D. The following lists give the 
names of all the Kings of this dynasty according to the 
various authorities in my possession : 

Mritunjaya and 

Panjab, MS. 

Chanderi, MS. 

Sayid Ahmad. 

Hwen Thsang. 





Dipa Sinlia . . 




Dip S. 


Dip Sing . . 


Rana S. 

2 i\ 

Rail S. 


Ran S. 


Ran Sing . . 


Prakara Vardhana. 

Raja s. 


Raj S. 


Ram S. 


Raj Sing . . 


RAjya ditto. 

Vara S. 




Mitr S. 


Shir Sing . . 


Harsha ditto. 

Nara S. 


Nar S. 




Hara Sing . . 


J ivana 






Jiwan Sing. 


Total .. 







According to Sayid Ahmad the accession of Shir Sing, who is 
the Kara or Ilan of the other lists, took place in A. D. 611, 



or within four years of the date already obtained for llarsha 

In my account of Delhi I have given my reasons for 
believing that Kanoj was the capital of the Tomars down 
to the invasion of Mahmud in A. D. 1021, immediately after 
the defeat and death of Raja Jay Rdl. Shortly after that 
date, the small town of Bari to the north of Lucknow be- 
came the capital, until about A. D. 1050, when the Tomars 
retired to Delhi before the growing power of the Rdhtors. 
Once more Kanoj became the capital of a powerful kingdom, 
and the rival of Delhi, both in extent and in magnificence. 
Here Jaya Chandra, the last of the Rdhtors, celebrated the 
Aswamedha, or “Ilorse-sacrifice;” and here in open day 
did Prithi Raja, the daring Chief of the Chohans, carry off 
the willing daughter of the Rdhtor King, in spite of the 
gallant resistance of the two Randfar heroes, Alha and Udal. 
The fame of these two brothers, which is fully equal to that 
of Prithi Raja himself, is still preserved in the songs and 
traditions of the people amongst the Chandels of Mahoba 
and the Rahtors and Chandels of the Doab. After the fall 
of Delhi in January 1191 A. D., Muhammad Ghori marched 
against Kanoj. Raja Jaya Chandra retired before him as 
far as Banaras, where he made his last stand, but was defeated 
with great slaughter. The Raja escaped from the field, but 
was drowned in attempting to cross the Ganges. When his 
body was recovered by the conquerors, it was found that lie 
had false teeth fixed with wires of gold. With Jaya Chan- 
dra epded the dynasty of the Rdhtors of the Doab, and the 
wealth and importance of the far-famed capital of Kanoj. 
Only one hundred and fifty years later it is described by Ibn 
Batuta as a “ small town,” and from that time down to the 
present this ancient city has gradually lessened in conse- 
quence ; but as it was close to the high road of the Doah, 
it still continued to be visited by numerous travellers who 
where attracted by its ancient fame. The final blow to its 
prosperity has now been given by the diversion of the rail- 
road to Etawa, which leaves Kanoj far away to the east, to 
be visited for the future only by the curious antiquary and 
the civil officials of the district. 

In comparing Hwcn Thsang’s description of ancient 
Kanoj with the existing remains of the city, I am obliged 
to confess with regret that I have not been able to identify 



even one solitary site witli any certainty ; so completely has 
almost every trace of Hindu occupation been obliterated by 
the Musalmans. According to the traditions of the people, 
the ancient city extended from the shrine of Mdji Mar may mi 
on the north near the Raj Ghat, to the neighbourhood of 
Miranka-Sara on the south, a distance of exactly three 
miles. Towards the west, it is said to have reached to Kapatya 
and Makarandnagar, two villages on the high road, about 
three miles from Mdji Marmayan. On the east the boundary 
w r as the old bed of the Ganges, or Cliota Gangd as the 
people call it, although it is recorded in our maps as the Kali 
Nadi. Their account is, that the Kali, or Kdlindri Nadi, 
formerly joined the Ganges near Sangirdmpur or Sangrdm- 
pur ; but that several hundred years ago the great river took 
a more northerly course from that point, while the waters 
of the Kali Nadi continued to flow down the deserted chan- 
nel. As an open channel still exists between Sangrdmpur 
and the Kali Nadi , I am satisfied that the popular account 
is correct, and that the stream which flows under Kanoj, from 
Sangrdmpur to Mhendi Ghat, although now chiefly filled 
with the waters of the Kali Nadi, was originally the main 
channel of the Ganges. The accounts of Ea Hian and 
Hwen Thsang, who place Kanoj on the Ganges, are there- 
fore confirmed, not only by the traditions of the people, but 
also by the fact that the old channel still exists under the 
name of the Chota Gangd, or little Ganges.* 

The modern town of Kanoj occupies only the north end 
of the site of the old city, including the whole of what is 
now called the Kilali or citadel. The boundaries are well 
defined by the shrine of Mdji Marmayan on the north, the 
tomb of Tdj Bdj on the south-west, and the Masjid and 
tomb of Makhdum Jahdnhya on the south-east. The houses 
are much scattered, especially inside the citadel, so that 
though the city still covers nearly one square mile, yet the 
population barely exceeds 16,000 in number. The citadel, 
which occupies all the highest ground, is triangular in shape, 
its northern point being the shrine of Mdji Marmayan, its 
south-west point the temple of Ajay Pal, and its south-east 
point the large bastion called Ksliem Kali Burj. Each of 
the faces is about 4,000 feet in length, that to the north- 

* See Plate No. II, for the situation of Ivanoj in the Map of North-Western India. 



west being protected by the bed of the nameless dry Nala; 
that to the north-east by the Chota Gangd ; while that to 
the south must have been covered by a ditch, which is now 
one of the main roads of the city, running along the foot 
of the mound from the bridge below Ajay Pal’s temple to 
the Kshem Kali bastion. On the north-east face the mound 
rises to 60 or 70 feet in height above the low ground on the 
bank of the river ; and towards the Nala on the north-west, 
it still maintains a height of from 40 to 50 feet. On the 
southern side, however, it is not more than 30 feet imme- 
diately below the temple of Ajay Pal, but it increases to 
40 feet below the tomb of Bella Fir. The situation is a 
commanding one ; and before the use of cannon the height 
alone must have made Kanoj a strong and important posi- - 
tion. The people point out the sites of two gates, — the 
first to the north, near the shrine of BLaji Harmdyan, and 
the second to the south-east, close to the Kshem Kali Burj. 
But as both of these gates lead to the river it is certain that 
there must have been a third gate on the land side towards 
the south-west, and the most probable position seems to be 
immediately under the walls of the Bang Mahal, and close 
to the temple of Ajay Bdl. 

According to tradition, the ancient city contained 84 
wards, or Mahalas , of which 25 are still existing within 
the limits of the present town. If we take the area of these 
25 wards at three-quarters of a square mile, the 84 wards 
of the ancient city would have covered just 2-| square miles. 
Now, this is the very size that is assigned to the old city by 
Hwen Thsang, who makes its length 20 li, or miles, and 
its breadth 4 or 5 li, or just three-quarters of a mile, which 
multiplied together give just 2M square miles. Almost the 
same limits may be determined from the sites of the existing 
ruins, which are also the chief fincl-spots of the old coins 
with which Kanoj abounds. According to the dealers, the 
old coins are found at Bala Fir and Bang Mahal , inside 
the Port ; at Makhdum Jahdnia, to the south-east of the 
Port ; at Makarandnagar on the high road ; and intermedi- 
ately at the small villages of Singh Bhaiedni and Kutlupur. 
The only other productive site is said to be Bdjgir, an 
ancient mound covered with brick ruins on the bank of the 
Chota Gangd, three miles to the south-east of Kanoj. 
Taking all these evidences into consideration, it appears to 



rac almost certain that the ancient city of Ilwcn Thsang’s 
time must have extended from Hdji Mammy an and the 
Kshem Kali Burj, on the hank of the Ganges (now the Chota 
Ganrja), in a south-west direction, to Makar andnagar, on 
the Grand Trunk Hoad, a length of just three miles, with 
a general breadth of about one mile or somewhat less. 
Within these limits are found all the ruins that still exist 
to point out the position of the once famous city of Kanoj.* 

The only remains of any interest are, 1st, the ruins of 
the old palace, now called the Rang Mahal ; 2nd, the Hindu 
pillars of the Jama Musjid; 3rd, the Hindu pillars of the 
Masjid of Makhdum Jahdniya; and 4tk, the Hindu statues 
in the village of Singh Bliaiodni. The other remains are 
simple mounds of all sizes, covered with broken bricks, 
traces of brick walls, and broken figures. These are found 
in several places inside the citadel, but more particularly 
at the temple of Ajay Bdl, a modern building on an ancient 
site. Outside the citadel they are found chiefly about the 
shrine of Makhdum Jahdniya on the south-east, and about 
Makrandnagar on the south-west. 

The ruins of the Rang Mahal , which are situated in 
the south-west angle of the citadel, consist of a strong 
brick wall faced with blocks of kanlcar, 240 feet in length, 
and 25 feet in height above the sloping ruins, but more than 
40 feet above the level of the bazar. It is strengthened in 
front by four towers or buttresses, 14 feet broad and G1 feet 
apart. The w r all itself is 7 feet thick at top, and behind it, 
at 10 feet distance, there is a second wall 5 feet thick, and 
at 9-^ feet farther back a third wall 3^ feet thick, and a 
fourth wall at 21 feet. The distances between the walls 
most probably represent the width of some of the rooms of 
the old Hindu palace, which would thus have a breadth of 
56 feet. But the block kankar walls can be traced for a 
distance of 180 feet back from the south-east buttress to a 
wdeket or small door w r hich would appear to have formed a 
side entrance to the courtyard of the palace. As far as it 
can be now traced, the palace covered an area of 240 feet 
in length by 180 feet in breadth. It is said to have been built 
by Ajay Bdl, to whom also is attributed a temple which 
once stood close by. Ajay Bdl and Main Bdl are said to 

* See Plate No. XLVII. for a plan of the ruins of Kanoj. 



have reigned a short time before Jay Chund, but the names 
of the intervening Princes are not known. I think it highly 
probable that A jay Pal is the Tomar Prince Jay Pal, w r ho 
was conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni, and afterwards de- 
feated and killed, in A. I). 1021, by a confederate army 
under the leadership of the Chandel Raja of Kdlanjar. 
Just outside the south-east buttress of the palace, the people 
point out a spot where they affirm that 29 golden ingots 
were discovered in 1831, of which 9 were made over to Mr. 
Wernyss, the Collector of Cawnpoor, and the remainder were 
secreted by the finders. Accounts differ as to the weight 
of the ingots, but the general belief is that they weighed 
about 1 ser, or 2 lbs. each. The coin dealers, however, affirm 
that the 9 ingots which were taken to the Cawnpoor Treasury 
weighed Rs. 13,500, that is Rs. 1,500, or 18f sers each. 

The Jama , , or Pina , Masjid of Kanoj is cited by Mr. 
Fergusson as a specimen of Hindu cloisters, which has been 
re-arranged to suit the purposes of Muhammadan worship ; 
and in this opinion I most fully concur. The inscription 
over the entrance doorway is now much decayed, and several 
portions are quite obliterated, but a copy has been 
fortunately preserved by Rajab Ali, a teacher of 
children, in the court of the Masjid. According to this 
copy, the Masjid was built in the Hijira year 809, or 
A. D. 1406, in the reign of Ibrahim Shah (of Jon pur). It is 
situated on a lofty mound in the very middle of the old fort, 
and this commanding position alone would be sufficient to 
show that it must originally have been the site of some 
Hindu building of considerable importance. This conclusion 
is partly confirmed by the traditions of the temple, who, 
however, most absurdly call the place Sita-ka Past'd, or 
“ Sita’s kitchen.” We know also that it was the usual prac- 
tice of the Muhammadan Kings of Jonpur to raise their 
Masjids on the sites, and with the materials, of the Hindu 
temples which they demolished. On comparing, therefore, 
this cloistered Masjid with those of Jonpur, 'which are 
acknowledged re-arrangements of Hindu materials, we see at 
once that the pillars are all Hindu, and that the domes 
formed of courses of overlapping stones, and decorated with 
Hindu symbols are certainly not Muhammadan. When I 
first visited Kanoj in January 1838 the arrangement of 
the pillars was somewhat different from what I found it 



in November 18G2. The cloisters which originally extended 
all round the square, are now confined to the Masjid itself, 
that is, to the west side only. This change is said to 
have been made by a Muhammadan Talisildar shortly 
before 1857. The same individual is also accused of having 
destroyed all the remains of figures that had been built into 
the walls of the Jdma and Maklidum Jah&niya Masjids. It 
is certain that there are none visible now, although in 
January 1838, as recorded in my journal, I saw “ several 
Hindu figures placed sideways and upside down” in the walls 
of the Jama Masjid, and three broken figures lying outside 
the doorway of the Masjid of Maklidum Jali&niya. The 
inscription over the doorway of the last, which I saw in its 
place in 1838, is said to have been removed at the same 
time for the purpose of cutting off a Hindu figure on the 
back of it. I recovered this inscription by sending to the 
present Talisildar for it. 

The Jdma Masjid, as it stands now, is a pillared room, 
108 feet in length by 26 feet in width, supported on four 
rows of columns. The roof is flat, excepting the centre and 
ends, which are covered with domes formed by circles of 
stones gradually lessening until they meet. In front of the 
Masjid there is a court-yard 95 feet in width, the whole 
being surrounded by a stone wall G feet in thickness. The 
exterior dimensions are 133 feet from west to east, by 120^ 
feet. In 1838 there were still standing on the three sides 
of the court-yard portions of the original cloisters formed 
of two rows of pillars. The Masjid itself was then con- 
fined to the five openings in the middle of the west side, 
the seven openings on each flank of it being formed of 
only two rows of pillars the same as on the other three sides. 
The Masjid now consists of a single room supported on 
GO pillars without any cloisters; but originally the Masjid 
itself was supported on 20 pillars, with cloisters on 
each flank, and also on the other three sides of the court- 
yard. The whole number of pillars was then 128. To 
make up this number we have the GO pillars of the present 
Masjid, and no less than 58 spare capitals still lying in the 
court-yard, which together make up 118, or within 10 of the 
actual number required to complete the original design. 

The pillars of the Jdma Masjid may, I think, be seen 
in their original Hindu form at the sides of the small door 



ways in the north and south walls of the court. Each pillar 
is formed of five pieces, vis., a base and capital, with a middle 
piece which divides the shafts into two equal portions, and 
may he called the upper and lower shafts. The shafts 
are 10 inches square and 3 feet 9 inches in height. The base 
is 1 foot high, and the middle piece and capital are each 3 
inches, thus making the whole height 9 feet 10 inches. But 
the pillars, as re-arranged by the Muhammadans, are 14 feet 
2 inches high, the extra height having been gained by adding 
a piece to each portion of the shaft. These shorter pieces, 
which are 2 feet 1 inch in height, are always placed above 
the original shafts of 3 feet 8 inches. As there could 
have been no difficulty in purchasing a single shaft of the 
required length of 5 feet 10 inches, it seems certain that the 
whole of these made-up pillars must have been obtained 
after the usual cheap Muhammadan manner — by the demoli- 
tion of some Hindu buildings, either Buddhist or Brah- 

The Masjid and tomb of MaJchdum Jah&niya are situated 
on a lofty mound in the SiJchdna Mahalla to the south-east 
of the citadel, overlooking the Chota Gctngd. The mound 
is 40 feet in height above the fields, and is partly occupied 
by weavers’ houses. The tomb of the MaJclidum is a com- 
mon-looking building, 35 feet square. Beside it there are 
two other plain square tombs holding the remains of his des- 
cendants, both male and female. The tomb itself, as recorded 
in the mutilated inscription which formerly existed over 
the doorway, was erected over Sayid Jalal Malchdum, 
Jahdniya by his son Rdju in the Hijra year 881, or A. I). 
1476. The Masjid was built in the same year, in the reign 
of Husen Shah, of Jonpur, to whom ICanoj still belonged, 
although some writers place his final defeat by Balilol Lodi, 
of Delhi, in this very year, A. H. 881, and others in 
A. H. 883. The central dome of the Masjid has long ago 
fallen in, and all the pointed arches are seriously cracked and 
propped up by unsightly masses of masonry. There is 
nothing peculiar about the building, save the decoration of 
the panels of the back wall, which have the name of Allah 
inscribed on a tablet suspended by a rope. The appearance 
of the tablet and rope is so like that of the Hindu bell and 
chain that one is almost tempted to believe that the Muham- 
madan architect must have simply chiselled away the bolder 


points of the Hindu ornament to suit his own design. But 
whether this may have been the case or not, it is impossible 
to miss seeing that the Hindu hell and chain must have 
been directly suggestive of the Muhammadan tablet and 
cord. The Masjid and tombs are surrounded by a wall with 
four small towers at the corners, and an entrance gate on the 
south side. In the steps leading up to this entrance I found 
in 1838 a broken figure of Shasti, the goddess of fecun- 
dity, and a pedestal with a short inscription, dated in Scimvat 
1193, or A. H. 1136. The people also affirm that a large 
statue formerly stood under a tree close by. All of these are 
now gone, but the fact that two of them were built into the 
entrance steps is sufficient to show that the mound on which 
the Masjid stands must once have been the site of some 
important Hindu building. 

The two statues in the village of Singh Bhawdni were 
discovered about 100 years ago in a field close by the brick 
hovel in which they are now placed. The people call 
them Bdm and Lakshman, and the attendant Brahman 
does so too, although the figures have eight arms each, and 
although the Eish, Tortoise, Boar and Lion Incarnations of 
Vishnu are represented round the head of one of them. Each 
of the figures is 3 feet in height, but the whole sculpture 
is 6 feet. Vishnu is also known by the discus (chakra), and 
club ( gadd), from which he derives his well-known titles of 
chakradhur and gadadliar. Along with these sculptures 
there are some other figures, of which the most important is 
a statue of the Tantrika Buddhist goddess, Vajrd Vardhi. 
The figure is 2^ feet in height, and has three heads, of which 
one is porcine, and the usual number of seven hogs is repre- 
sented on the pedestal. Outside the building there are 
figures of JDurgd slaying the Maheshdsur, or buffalo demon, 
and of Siva and Pdrbaii sitting on the bull Nandi. In the 
neighbouring village of Kutlupur I found the lintel of a 
temple door- way with a figure of Vishnu in the middle, 
showing that the temple had been dedicated to that god. He 
is represented sitting on the Garuda, or eagle, and holding 
the club and discus. 

The only remaining place of any note is the Suraj-kund 
or “Tank of the Sun,” to the south-east of Makarandnagar. 
It is now nearly dried up, and at the time of my visit its 
bed was planted with potatoes. But it is one of the oldest 



places of worship in Kanoj, and an annual fair is still held 
on its hank in the month of Bliadon (August — September). 
Close beside it there is a modern temple of Mahddeva, which 
is said to have replaced a ruined one of some antiquity. To 
the south-west of Makarandnagar there are three mounds 
covered with broken bricks and pottery ; and under a tree 
on the south mound, are collected a number of fragments, 
of sculpture at a spot dedicated to Maordri Devi. 

Most of the ancient monuments of Kanoj that are 
noticed by the Chinese pilgrims are of course Buddhist ; but 
numerous as they were, I am unable to do more than offer 
conjectures more or less probable regarding their sites, as 
Muhammadan spoliation has not left a single place standing 
to give even a faint clue towards identification. The posi- 
tion of one of the most remarkable of the monuments is 
rendered more than usually doubtful by the conflicting evi- 
dence of the two pilgrims. According to Fa Hian, the great 
Stupa of Asoka, 200 feet in height, which was built on the 
spot where Buddha had preached on the instability of human 
existence, was situated at 6 or 7 li to the west of the town, and 
on the north hank of the Ganges. But according to Hwen 
Thsang, this great Stupa was situated at 6 or 7 li to the south- 
east of the capital, and on the south bank of the Ganges. 
Now, as the ground to the north of the Ganges, as it existed 
during the first centuries of the Christian era, was very low, 
and therefore liable to inundation, it seems highly improbable 
that any monument would have been erected in such an 
insecure position. I conclude, therefore, that Hwen Thsang’s 
account is most likely right, but I failed in my search for 
any remains of this vast monument in the position indicated, 
that is, at rather more than one mile to the south-east of the 
capita], and on the south bank of the Cliota Gang a. 

To the north-west of the town Hwen Thsang places 
another Stupa of Asoka ; but as he gives no distance, the mere 
hearing is too vague to enable us to fix upon the site with 
any probability. Perhaps the small village of Kapatya , or 
Kapteswari , nearly opposite the burnt dak bungalow, is the 
most probable site ; but, although there are the remains of 
brick buildings in its vicinity, there is nothing to indicate 
the previous existence of any large Stupa. A smaller Stupa 
containing the hair and nails of Buddha has also disappeared, 
as well as the memorial monument to the four Buddhas. 



To the south of the town, and close to the Ganges, there 
were three monasteries, with similar looking walls, hut differ- 
ing gateways. In one of these monasteries there was a 
Vihara or chapel which possessed a tooth of Buddha preserved 
in a casket adorned with precious stones raised on a high 
pedestal. This tooth was shown daily to crowds of people, 
although the tax charged for its exhibition was “ a large 
piece of gold.” Perfumes were burned before it by thousands 
of votaries, and the flowers which were strewn in pro- 
fusion over it were devoutly believed never to conceal the 
casket. Bight and left in front of the monasteries there 
were two Viharas , each about 100 feet in height. Their 
foundations were of stone, but their walls of brick. In 
front of each Vihara there was a small monastery. The 
most probable site of the three monasteries and the Vihara 
with the tooth of Buddha seems to me to be the large 
mouud immediately to the south of the Kshen Kali Bdrj, 
to the south-east of the town, and on the the immediate bank 
of the river. This is now called the Mahalla of Leila Misr 
Tola . The mound is covered with broken bricks, but no 
remains of any extensive buildings are now visible. 

At a short distance to the south-east of the three mo- 
nasteries there was a lofty Vihara , 200 feet in height, which 
enshrined a statue of Buddha 30 feet high. The foundations 
of the building were of stone, but the walls of brick. On 
the surrounding walls of the Vihara, which were of stone, 
were sculptured all the acts of Buddha’s life until he became 
a Bodhisativa. The position of this lofty Vihara was most 
probably on the large mound in the midst of the present 
Bhatpuri Mahalla, wdiicli stands about 800 feet to the south- 
east of the mound in the Mahalla of Ldla Misr Tola. There 
are no remains now to be seen on this mound, but it is proba- 
ble that excavations would be attended with success, as there 
can be little doubt that this was once the site of some import- 
ant buildings. At a little distance from the Vihara towards 
the south there was a temple, and a little further to the 
south there was a second temple dedicated to Siva. Both 
of these temples were of the same form and size as the 
Viharas of Buddha. They were built of a blue stone which 
was highly polished, and adorned with admirable sculptures. 
The probable position of these Brahmanical temples was on 
the high mound of Makhdim Jahdniya, in the Sithdna 



Malialla, which is about 700 feet to the south of the last 
mentioned mound in the Bhatpuri Malialla. That this 
mound was the site of one or more Brahmanical temples 
seems almost certain from my discovery of a figure of Shasti, 
the goddess of fecundity, and of a pedestal bearing the date 
of Samvat 1193, or A. D. 1136, which is posterior to the 
extinction of Buddhism in Kanoj. I think it probable that 
excavations in this mound would be attended with success, 
as the two temples are said to have been built of stone, which 
no doubt furnished the whole of the materials for the Masjid 
and tomb of Makhdum Jahdniya. 


From Kanoj the two Chinese pilgrims followed different 
routes, Fa Ilian having proceeded direct to Sha-chi (the 
modern Ajudhya, near Fyzahad on the Ghaghra), while Hwen 
Thsang followed the course of the Ganges to Prayag, or 
Allahabad. The first stage of both pilgrims would, however, 
appear to be the same. Fa Hian states that he crossed the 
Ganges and proceeded 3 yojans, or 21 miles, to the forest of 
lloli, where there were several Stupas erected on spots where 
Buddha had “ passed, or walked, or sat.”'* Hwen Thsang 
records that he marched 100 li , nearly 17 miles, to the town 
of Nava-deva-kula, which "was on the eastern hank of the 
Ganges, and that at 5 li, or nearly 1 mile, to the south-east 
of the town there was a Stupa of Asoka, which was still 100 
feet in height, besides some other monuments dedicated to 
the four previous Buddhas, f I think it probable that the two 
places are the same, and that the site was somewhere near 
Nobatganj, just above the junction of the Isan River and 
opposite Nanamom Ghat. But as there are no existing 
remains anywhere in that neighbourhood, the place has been 
most likely swept away by the river. This is rendered almost 
certain by an examination of the Ganges below the junction 
of the Isan. Formerly the river continued its course almost 
due south from Nanamow for many miles, but some centuries 
ago it changed its course first to the south-east for 1 or 5 
miles, and then to the south-west for about the same distance, 
where it rejoined its old bed, leaving an island, some 6 miles 
in length by 4 in breadth, between the two channels. As 
Hwen Thsang’s account places Nava-deva-kula on the very 

* Beal’s Fa Hian, C. XVIII. 

+ Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 265. 



site of this island, I conclude that the town as well as the 
Buddhist monuments must all have been swept away by the 
change in the river’s course.* 

On leaving Nava-deva-kula, Hwen Thsang proceeded 
600 li, or 100 miles, to the south-east, and re-crossing the 
Ganges he reached the capital city of A-yu-to, which was 
20 li, or upwards of 3 miles, in circuit. Both M. Julien and 
M. St. Martin have identified this place with Ayodhya , the 
once celebrated capital of Bama. But though I agree with 
them as to the probable identification of the name as that of 
the country, I differ with them altogether in looking for the 
capital along the line of the Ghaghra River , which is due 
cast from Kanoj, whereas Hwen Thsang states that his route 
was to the south-east. It is, of course, quite possible that 
the pilgrim may occasionally use the generic name of Ganges 
as the appellation of any large river, such, for instance, as the 
Ghaghra ; hut in the present case, where the recorded bearing 
of south-east agrees with the course of the Ganges, I think 
it is almost certain that the Ganges itself was the river 
intended by the pilgrim. But by adopting the line of the 
Ganges we encounter a difficulty of a different kind in the 
great excess of the distance between two such well known 
places as Kanoj and Prayag. According to Hwen Thsang’s 
route, he first made 100 li to Nava-deva-kida , then 600 li to 
Ayutlio , then 300 li by water to Hayamukha, and lastly 700 li 
to Rraydga. All these distances added together make a total 
of 1,700 li, or 283 miles, which is just 100 miles, or 600 li, 
in excess of the true distance. But as a part of the journey, 
viz., 300 li, or 50 miles, was performed by water, the actual 
excess may, perhaps, not be more than 85 or 90 miles; 
although it is doubtful whether the distance of 300 li may 
not have been the road measurement and not the river dis- 
tance. It is sufficient for our purpose to know that Hwen 
Thsanofs recorded measurement is somewhere about 100 
miles in excess of the truth. The only explanation of this 
error that suggests itself to me is, that there may have been 
an accidental alteration of one set of figures, such as 600 li 
for 60 li, or 700 li for 70 li. Supposing that the former 

* If we might read 10 li instead of 100 li, this place might be identified with Deokali, 
which is situated on the Chota Gunga about 2 miles below Kanoj. The two names are 
precisely the same, excepting that the modern one has dropped the two initial syllables nava, 
or “ new,” which, however appropriate in the time of the Chinese pilgrim, would almost 
certainly have been dropped in the course of a few centuries. — See Julien’s Hwen Thsang, 
II. 2G6. 



was the case, the distance would he shortened by 540 li, or 
90 miles, and if the latter, by 630 li, or 105 miles. This 
mode of correction brings the pilgrim’s account into fair 
accordance with the actual distance of 180 miles between 
Kanoj and Prayag. 

By adopting the first supposition, Hwen Thsang’s dis- 
tance from Nava-deva-kula to the capital of Ayutlio will be 
only 60 li, or 10 miles, to the south-east, which would bring 
him to the site of an ancient city named Kdkupur, just 1 
mile to the north of Seorajpoor, and 20 miles to the north- 
west of Cawnpoor. If we adopt the latter correction, the 
pilgrim’s distance to Ayutlio of 600 li, or 100 miles, will 
remain unchanged, and this would bring him via Mdnikpur, 
which is also an ancient place. By the first supposition the 
subsequent route would have been from Kdkupur to Daun- 
diakliera by boat, a distance of exactly 50 miles, or 300 li, 
and from thence to Prayag, a distance of more than 100 
miles, which agrees with the 700 li, or 116 miles, of the 
pilgrim. By the second supposition the subsequent route 
would have been from j Khar a to Papamoio by water, about 
50 miles, and thence to Prayag, about 8 miles of land, which 
agrees with the 70 li of the proposed correction. In favour 
of this last supposition is the fact that the bearing from 
Khara to Papamoio of east by south is more in accordance 
with Hwen Thsang’s recorded east direction than the south- 
east bearing of Daundiakhera from Kakupur. I confess, 
however, that I am more inclined to adopt the former correc- 
tion, which places the chief city of Ayutlio at Kakupur, and 
the town of Hayamukha at Daundiakhera, as we know that 
the last was the capital of the Pais Rajputs for a consider- 
able period. I am partly inclined to this opinion by a sus- 
picion that the name of Kdkupur may be connected with 
that Bagud, or Vdgud, of the Tibetan books. According to 
this authority a Sdkya, named Slidmpaka, on being banished 
from Kapila retired to Bagud, carrying with him some of 
Buddha’s hairs and nail-parings, over which he built a 
chaitya. He was made King of Bagud, and the monument 
was named after himself ( ? Slidmpaka Stupa)* No clue is 
given as to the position of Bagud ; but as I know of no other 
name that resembles it, I am induced to think that it is 

Csoma de Koros in Asiatic Researches, XX., p. 88. 



probably tlie same place as the Ayutho of Hwen Thsang, wliicli 
was also possessed of a Stupa containing some bairs and 
nail-parings of Buddha. Kdkupur is well-known to the 
people of Kanoj, who affirm that it was once a large city 
with a Baja of its own. The existing remains of Kdkupur 
consist of numerous foundations formed of large bricks, and 
more particularly of a connected set of walls of some large 
building which the people call “ the palace.” I have not 
yet visited this place, which lay out of my line of route, but 
I hope to have an opportunity of examining it hereafter. 


Prom Ayutho the Chinese pilgrim proceeded a distance 
of 300 li, or 50 miles, down the Ganges by boat to O-ye-mu-lchi, 
which was situated on the north bank of the river, M. Julien 
reads this name as Hayamukha , equivalent to “ Horse 
face,” or “ Iron face,” which was the name of one of the 
Ddnavas or Titans.* Neither of these names, however, 
gives any clue to the site of the old city ; but if I am right 
in my identification of Ayutho with Kdkupur, it is almost 
certain that Ayomuklia must be the same as Daundiakhera. 
Hwen Thsang makes the circuit of the town 20 li, or up- 
wards of 3 miles, but Daundikhera presents no appearance of 
having ever been so large. There still exist the ruins of an 
old fort or citadel, 385 feet square, with the walls of two 
buildings which are called the Raja’s and Rani’s palaces. 
The foundation of this citadel is attributed to Raja Raghu- 
nath Sinh, but he was apparently some comparatively modern 
Thdkur, or petty Chief, as Daundiakhera is universally 
allowed to have been the capital of the Bais Rajputs, who 
claim descent from the famous Salivahan. As there are no 
remains of any buildings which can be identified with the 
momuments described by Hwen Thsang, the actual site of 
Ayomukha must still remain doubtful. 


Prom Ayomukha the pilgrim proceeded 700 li. or 11G 
miles, to the south-east, to Brayaga, the well known place of 
pilgrimage at the junction of the Ganges and Jumna, where 

* Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., p. 274. — See my “Ancient Geography of India,” p. 387, 
“ Daundia means simply a “drum-beater,” and was probably applied to some mendicant, 
who took up his abode on the khera, or mound ; and as this name is not likely to have been 
imposed on the place until it was in ruins, the difference of name offers no impediment to 
the identification of Daundiakhera with Hayamukha . 



Akbar some centuries later built his fort of Ildhabds, or 
Alldhdbdd , as it was afterwards called by Skalrjahan. The dis- 
tance and bearing given by Hwen Thsang agree almost 
exactly with those of Prayaga from Haundiakkera. The 
distance is 104 miles by the nearest road to the south of the 
Ganges ; but as the pilgrim followed the north road, the dis- 
tance must have been increased to about 115 or 120 miles. 
According to him the city was situated at the confluence of 
the two rivers, but to the west of a large sandy plain. In 
the midst of the city there was a Brahmanical temple, to 
which the presentation of a single piece of money procured 
as much merit as that of one thousand pieces elsewhere. 
Before the principal room of the temple there was a large 
tree with wide-spreading branches, which was said to be the 
dwelling of an anthropophagous demon. The tree was sur- 
rounded with human bones, the remains of pilgrims who 
had sacrificed their lives before the temple — a custom which 
had been observed from time immemorial. * 

I think there can be little doubt that the famous tree 
here described by the Chinese pilgrim is the well known 
Akshay Bat , or " undecaying Banian tree,” wdrick is still an 
object of worship at Allahabad. This tree is now situated 
underground at one side of a pillared court, which would 
appear to have been open formerly, and which is, I believe, 
the remains of the temple described by Hwen Thsang. The 
temple is situated inside the fort of Allahabad to the east of 
the Ellenborougk Barracks, and due north from the stone 
pillar of Asoka and Samudra Gupta. Originally both tree 
and temple must have been on the natural ground level ; but 
from the constant accumulation of rubbish they have been 
gradually earthed up until the whole of the lower portion 
of the temple has disappeared underground. The upper por- 
tion has long ago been removed, and the only access to the 
Akshay Bat now available is by a flight of steps which leads 
down to a square pillared court-yard. This court has 
apparently once been open to the sky, but it is now closed 
in to secure darkness and mystery for the holy Eig tree. 

The Akshay Bat is next mentioned by Eashid-ud-din 
in the Jdmiut-tawdrikh, in which he states that the “ tree 
of Brag ” is situated at the confluence of the Jumna and 

* Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., p. 276. 



Gauges. As most of his information was derived from Abu 
llihdn, the date of this notice may with great probability be 
referred to the time of Mahmud of Ghazni. In the 7th century 
a great sandy plain, 2 miles in circuit, lay between the city 
and the confluence of the rivers, and as the tree was in the 
midst of the city, it must have been at least one mile from 
the confluence. But nine centuries later, in the beginning 
of Akluar’s reign, Abdul Kadir speaks of the “tree from 
which people cast themselves into the river.”* Prom this 
statement I infer that, during the long period that inter- 
vened between the time of Hwen Thsang and that of Akbar, 
the two rivers had gradually carried away the whole of the 
great sandy plain, and had so far encroached upon the city 
as to place the holy tree on the very brink of the water. 
Long before this time the old city had no doubt been deserted, 
for we know that the fort of Ildhdbas was founded on its 
site in the 21st year of Akbar’s reign, that is, in A. H. 982, 
or A. I). 1572. Indeed, the way in which Abu Lilian speaks 
of the “ tree” instead of the city of Prag, leads me to believe 
that the city itself had already been deserted before his time. 
As far as I am aware, it is not once mentioned in any 
Muhammadan history until it was refounded by Akbar.f 

As the old city of J?raydg has totally disappeared, we 
can scarcely expect to find any traces of the various Buddhist 
monuments which were seen and described by the Chinese 
pilgrim in the 7th century. Indeed, from their position to 
the south-west of the city, it seems very probable that they 
may have been washed away by the Jumna even before the 
final abandonment of the city, as the course of that river for 
three miles above the confluence has been due west and east 
of many centuries past. At any rate, it is quite certain that 
no remains of these buildings are now to be seen; the only 
existing Hindu monument being the well known stone pillar 
which bears the inscriptions of Asoka, Samudra Gupta, and 
Jahangir. As Hwen Thsang makes no mention of this 
pillar, it is probable that it was not standing in his day. 
Even its original position is not exactly known, but it was 
probably not far from its present site. It was first erected 
by King Asoka about B. C. 240 for the purpose of inscribing 

* Elliot’s Muhammadan Historians of India, p. 243. 
f lLinaud, Fragments Arabs, etc., p. 10J, and Dawson’s Elliot, I., 55 . 



liis edicts regarding the propagation of Buddhism. It was 
next made use of by Samudra Gupta, about the second 
century of the Christian era, for the record of his extensive 
sovereignty over the various nations of India — from Nepal to 
the Dakhan, and from Gujarat to Assam. Lastly, it was 
re-erected by the Mogal Emperor Jahangir to commemorate 
his accession to the throne in the year 1605 A. D. These 
are the three principal inscriptions on the Allahabad Pillar, 
hut there are- also a number of minor records of the names 
of travellers and pilgrims of various dates, from about the 
beginning of' the Christian era down to the present century. 
Regarding these minor inscriptions, James Prinsep remarks 
that “ it is a singular fact that the periods at which the pillar 
has been overthrown can be thus determined with nearly as 
much certainty from this desultory writing, as can the 
epochs of its being re-erected from the more formal inscrip- 
tions recording the latter event. Thus that it was over- 
thrown some time after its first erection by the great Asoka 
in the middle of the third century before Christ, is proved by 
the longitudinal or random insertion of several names in 
a character intermediate between No. 1 and No. 2, in which 
the m , A &c., retain the old form/’ Of one of these names 
he remarks — “Now it would have been exceedingly difficult, if 
not impossible, to have cut the name No. 10 up and down at 
right angles to the other writing, ichile the pillar was erect , 
to say nothing, of the place being out of reach, unless a 
scaffold were erected on purpose, which would hardly be the 
case, si^ce the object of an ambitious visitor would be defeated 
by placing his name out of sight and in an unreadable 
position.” The pillar “ was erected as Samudra Gupta’s arm, 
and there it probably remained until overthrown, again by 
the idol-breaking zeal of the Musulmans ; for we find no 
writings on it of the Tala, or Sarnath type (i. e.,. of the 
tenth century), but a quantity appears with plain legible 
dates from the Samvat year 1420, or A. T). 1363, down to 
1660 odd, and it is remarkable that these occupy one side of 
the shaft, or that which was uppermost when the pillar was 
in a prostrate position. A few detached and ill executed 
Nagari names with Samvat dates of 1800 odd, “ show that 
ever since it was laid on the ground again by General 
Garstin, the passion for recording visits of piety or curiosity 
has been at work.”* In this last passage James Prinsep has, 

* Bengal Asiatic Society's Journal, 1837, p. 967. 



I believe, made a mistake in the name of the Vandal En- 
gineer who overthrew the stone pillar because it stood in the 
way of his new line of rampart near the gateway. It was 
General Kyd, and not General Garstin, who was employed 
to stengthen the Port of Allahabad, and his name is still 
preserved in the suburb of Kydganj, on the Jumna, im- 
mediately below the city. 

The pillar was again set up in 1838 by Captan Edward 
Smith, of the Engineers, to whom the design of the present 
capital is entirely due. At first it was intended to have placed 
a fancy flower as an appropriate finish to the pillar, but as 
the people had a tradition that the column was originally 
surmounted by the figure of a lion, it was suggested by a 
committee of the Asiatic Society that the design of the new 
capital should be made as nearly as possible the same as the 
original, of which the Bakra and Lauriya pillars were cited 
as examples. The lion statues which crown the bell capitals 
of these two pillars I have seen and admired, and I can 
affirm that they are the figures of veritable lions. Both of 
them are represented half coucliant, with the head raised and 
the mouth open. The bell capital swells out boldly towards 
the top to receive a massive abacus, which forms the plinth 
of the statue. In these examples the broad swelling capital 
is in harmony with the stout and massive column. But the 
new capital designed by Captain Smith is, in my opinion, a 
signal failure. The capital lessens towards the top, and is 
surmounted by an abacus of less diameter than that of the 
pillar itself. The animal on the top is small and recumbent, 
and altogether the design is insignificant. Indeed, it looks 
to me not unlike a stuffed poodle stuck on the top of an 
inverted flower pot. 

According to the common tradition of the people, the 
name of Prayaga was derived from a Brahman, who lived 
during the reign of Akbar. The story is that when the 
Emperor was building the fort, the walls on the river face 
repeatedly fell down in spite of all the precautions taken by 
the architect. On consulting some wise men, Akbar was 
informed that the foundations could only be secured by being 
laid in human blood. A proclamation was then made, when 
a Brahman, called Pray&ga, voluntarily offered his life on 
the condition that the fort should bear his name. This idle 
story, which is diligently related to the pilgrims who visit 


Tilt ho nt the Suivr. Gonl'a. Office. Col. 8epteiubcr IS/ 1 



the Akshay Bat, may at least serve one useful purpose in 
warning us not to place too much faith in these local traditions. 
The name of Brayaga is recorded by II wen Tlisang in the 
7th century, and is, in all probability, as old as the reign of 
Asoka, who set up the stone pillar about B. C. 240, while the 
fort was not built until the end of the 16th century. 


The city of Kosambi was one of the most celebrated 
places in ancient India, and its name was famous amongst 
Brahmans as well as Buddhists. The city is said to have 
been founded by Kusamba, the tenth in descent from Puru- 
ravas ; but its fame begins only with the reign of Chakra, 
the eighth in descent from Arjuna Bdndu, who made Kosambi 
his capital after Hastinapura had been swept away by the 
Ganges. If the date of the great war (MahdbharataJ be fixed 
at 1426 B. C., which, as I have already shown in my account 
of Delli, is the most probable period, then the date of Chakra 
will be about 1200 or 1150 B. C. Twenty-two of his descend- 
ants are said to have reigned in Kosambi down to 
Kshemaka, the last of the dynasty ; but it seems almost 
certain that some names must have been omitted, as the 
very longest period of 30 years which can be assigned to a 
generation of Eastern Kings will place the close of the 
dynasty about B. C. 500, and make the period of TJddyana 
about 630 to 600 B. C. If we take all the recorded names 
of the^ different authorities, then the number of generations 
will be 24, which will place the close of the dynasty in B. C. 
440, and fix the reign of TJddyana in 570 to 540 B. C. 
As Udayana is represented by the Buddhists to have been a 
contemporary of Buddha, this date may be accepted as 
wonderfully accurate for so remote a period of Indian History. 

Kosambi is mentioned in the Ramayana, the earliest of 
the Hindu Poems, which is generally allowed to have been 
composed before the Christian era. The story of TJddyana, 
King of Kosambi, is referred to by the Poet Kali Dasa in his 
Megha-duta, or “ Cloud Messenger,” when he says that Avanti 
(or Ujain) is great with the number of those versed in the 
tale of Udayana.”* Now Kali Dasa flourished shortly after 

* H. H. Wilson, “ Megha-duta,” note 64. 



A. D. 500. In the Vrihat Katlia, of Somadeva, the story of 
Udayana is given at full length, hut the author has made 
a mistake in the genealogy between the two Satanikas. 
Lastly, the kingdom of Kosambi , or Kosamba Mandala , is 
mentioned in an inscription taken from the, gateway of the 
fort of Khara , which is dated in Samvat 1092, or A. D. 1035, 
at which period it would appear to have been independent of 
Kanoj.* Kosambi, the capital of Vatsa Raja, is the scene 
of the pleasing drama of Katndvali, or the “necklace,” 
which was composed in the reign of King Harsha Deva, 
who is most probably the same as Harsha Vardhana of Kanoj, 
as the opening prelude describes amongst the assembled 
audience “princes from various realms recumbent at his 
feet.”t This we know from Hwen Tlisang to have been true 
of the Kanoj prince, but which even a Brahman could scarcely 
have asserted of Harsha Leva of Kashmir. The date of 
this notice will, therefore, lie between 607 and 618 A. D. 

But the name of TJddyana, King of Kosambi, was per- 
haps even more famous among the Buddhists. In the Maha- 
wanso, which was composed in the 5th century A. D., the 
venerable Yasa is said to have fled from “ Vaisali to Kosambi, 
just before the assembly of the second Buddhist Synod.j: 
In the Lalita Vistara, which was translated into Chinese, 
between 70 and 76 A. D., and which must, therefore, have 
been composed not later than the beginning of the Christian 
era, Udayana Vatsa, son of Satanika, King of Kosambi, is 
said to have been born on the same day as Buddha. In other 
Ceylonese books, Kosambi is named as one of the 19 capital 
cities of ancient India. Udayana Vatsa, the son of Satanika, 
is also known to the Tibetans as the King of Kosambi. In 
the Ratnavali he is called Vatsa Raja, or King of the Vatsas, 
and his capital Vatsa-pattana, which is, therefore, only another 
name for Kosambi. In this celebrated city Buddha is said 
have spent the 6th and 9th years of his Buddhahood. Lastly, 
Hwen Thsang relates that the famous statue of Buddha 
in red sandal wood, which was made by King Udayana 
during the life time of the teacher, still existed under a stone 
dome in the ancient palace of King Udayana. 

* Asiatic Researches, IX., 433, and Journal, Asiatic Society’s, of Bengal, V., 731. 
f Wilson’s Hindu Theatre, “Ratnavali,” prelude, II.) 264. 

J Tumour's translation, p. 16 . 





The site of this great city, the capital of the later 
Pandu Princes, and the shrine of the most sacred of all 
the statues of Buddha, has long been sought in vain. The 
Brahmans generally asserted that it stood either on the 
Ganges, or close to it, and the discovery of the name of 
Kosambi mandala, or “ Kingdom of Kosambi,” in an inscrip- 
tion over the gateway of the fort of Kliara , seemed to confirm 
the general belief, although the south-west bearing from 
Prayaga or Allahabad, as recorded by Hwen Thsang, points 
unmistakably to the line of the Jumna. In January 1861 
Mr. E. C. Bayley informed me that he believed the ancient 
Kosambi would he found in the old village of Kosam, on 
the Jumna, about 30 miles above Allahabad. In the fol- 
lowing month I met Babu Siva Prasad, of the Educational 
Department, who takes a deep and intelligent interest in all 
archaeological subjects, and from him I learned that Kosam is 
still known as Kosdmbi-nagar, that it is even now a great resort 
of the Jains, and that only one century ago it was a large and 
flourishing town. This information was quite sufficient to 
satisfy me that Kosam w r as the actual site of the once famous 
Kosambi. Still, however, there was no direct evidence to 
show that the city was situated on the J umna ; hut this 
missing link in the chain of evidence I shortly afterwards 
found in the curious legend of Bakkula.* The infant Bakkula 
was horn at Kosambi ; and while his mother was bathing 
in the Jumna , he accidentally fell into the river, and being 
swallowed by a fish was carried to Banaras. There the fish 
- 'was caught and sold to the wife of a nobleman, who, on 
opening it, found the young child still alive inside, and at 
once adopted it as her own. The true mother hearing of 
this wonderful escape of the infant, proceeded to Banaras, 
and demanded the return of the child, which was of course 
refused. The matter was then referred to the Kiiur, who 
decided that both of the claimants were mothers of the child 
— the one by maternity , the other by purchase. The child 
was accordingly named Bakula ; that is, of “ two hulas , or 
races.” He reached the age of 90 years without once hav- 
ing been ill, when he was converted by the preaching of 
Buddha, who declared him to be “ the chief of that class 
of his disciples who were free from disease.” After this 

Hardy, “ Manual of Buddhism,” p. 501. 



he is said to have lived 90 years more, when he became an 
arliat, or Buddhist saint. 

But the negative kind of merit which Bakkula acquired 
by his freedom from disease was not appreciated by 
Asoka, as we learn from a very curious legend which is pre- 
served in the Divya Avadana.* In the first ardour of his 
conversion to Buddhism the zealous Asoka wished to do 
honour to all the places which the life and teaching of 
Buddha had rendered famous, by the erection of Stupas, and 
the holy Upagupta volunteered to point out the sacred spots. 
Accordingly the goddess of the Sal tree, who witnessed Bud- 
dha’s birth, appeared to Asoka and vouched for the authenti- 
city of the venerated tree, which had given support to Maya- 
Devi, at the birth of the infant Sakya. Other holy sites 
are also indicated, such as the Bodhi-drum , or sacred Pipal 
tree at Buddha-Gaya, under which Buddha sat for six years 
in meditation ; and the Sal trees at Kusinagura, beneath 
which he obtained Nirvana, besides various spots rendered 
famous by the acts of his principal disciples, Sariputra, 
Maudgalyayana, Kasyapa, and Ananda. To all these holy 
places the pious King allotted large sums of money for the 
erection of Stupas. Upagupta then pointed out the holy place 
of Bakkula at Kosambi. “ And what was the merit of this 
sage ?” asked Asoka. “ He lived,” answered Upagupta, 
“ to a great age without once having known disease.” “ On 
him,” said the King, “ I bestow one farthing (KahaniiN f 
In Burnouf’s version of this story Bakkula is said to be the 
disciple who had encountered the fewest obstacles ; from 
which Asoka rightly argued that the fewer the obstacles the 
less the merit. The same idea is even more tersely expressed 
by the old author of the “ Land of Cockaigne” in describing 
the sinlessness of its inhabitants : 

“ Very virtuous may they be 
“ Who temptation never see/'’ 

As this legend of Bakkula is sufficient to prove that the 
famous city of Kausambi was situated on the Jumna, it now 
only remains to show that the distance of Kosam from 
Allahabad corresponds with that between Prayaga and 

* Burnouf, “Buddhisme Indien,” p. 391. 

t The Kakcuii was the fourth part of the copper pana, and was, therefore, worth only 
20 cowries. Its weight was 2 j raktikas, or rads of copper, or lj x 2o = 36 grains.. 



Kosambi, as recorded by Hwen Thsang. Unfortunately tliis 
distance is differently stated in the life and in the travels of 
of the Chinese pilgrim.* In the former, the distance is 
given as 50 li, and in the latter as 500 li , whilst in the 
return journey to China the pilgrim states that, between 
Prayag and Kosambi, he travelled for seven days through a 
vast forest and over hare plains. Now, as the village of 
Kosam is only 31 miles from the fort of Allahabad, the last 
statement would seem to preclude all possibility of its iden- 
tification with the ancient Kosambi. But, strange to say, 
it affords the most satisfactory proof of their identity ; for 
the subsequent route of the pilgrim to Sankissa is said to 
have occupied one month ; and as the whole distance from 
Prayag to Sankissa is only 200 miles, the average length of 
the pilgrim’s daily march was not more than 5^ miles. This 
slow progress is most satisfactorily accounted for, by the fact 
that the march from Prayag to Sankissa was a religious 
procession, headed by the great King Harsha Vardliana of 
Kanoj, with a train of no less than 18 tributary Kings, 
besides many thousands of Buddhist monks, and all the 
crowd of an Indian camp. According to this reckoning, 
the distance from Prayag to Kosambi would be 38 miles, 
which corresponds very closely with the actual road distance 
as I found it. By one route on going to Kosam, I made the 
distance 37 miles, and by the return route 35 miles. The 
only probable explanation of Hwen Thsang’s varying dis- 
tance of 50 li and 500 li that occurs to me is, that as he 
converted the Indian yojcincis into Chinese li at the rate of 
40 li per yojana , or of 10 li per kos, he must have written 
150 li, the equivalent to 15 kos, which is the actual distance 
across the fields for foot passengers from Kosam to the fort 
of Allahabad, according to the reckoning of the people of 
Kosam itself. But whether this explanation he correct or 
not, it is quite certain that the present Kosam stands on the 
actual site of the ancient Kosambi; for not only do the 
people themselves put forward this claim, hut it is also dis- 
tinctly stated in an inscription of the time of Akbar, which 
is recorded on the great stone pillar, still standing in the 
midst of the ruins, that this is Kausdmbi pur a. 

The present ruins of Kosambi consist of an immense 
fortress formed of earthen ramparts and bastions, with a 

* See J u lien’s Hwen Tlisang, I., 121, 260 p., and II., 2S3. 

p 2 



circuit of 23,100 feet, or exactly 4 miles and 3 furlongs.* 
The ramparts have a general height of from 30 to 35 feet 
above the fields, but the bastions are considerably higher ; 
those on the north face risings to upwards of 50 feet, while 
those at the south-west and south-east angles are more than 
60 feet. Originally there were ditches all round the fortress, 
but at present there are only a few shallow hollows at the 
foot of the rampart. The parapets were of brick and stone ; 
but, although the remains of these defences can be traced 
nearly all round, I could not find any portion of the old 
wall with a facing sufficiently perfect to enable me to deter- 
mine its thickness. The large size of the bricks, which are 
19 inches long by 12^ by 2^, shows that these are the ruins 
of very old walls. In shape the fortress may be described 
as an irregular rectangle, with its longer sides running 
almost due north and south. The length of the different 
faces is as follows : — 

North front 

4.500 feet. 
6,000 „ 

7.500 „ 
5,100 „ 

Total ... 23,100 feet. 

The difference in length between the north and south 
fronts is due to the original extension of the fortress on the 
river face ; but the difference between the east and w^st 
fronts is, I believe, chiefly, if not wholly, due to the loss of 
the south-west angle of the ramparts by the gradual en- 
croachments of the Jumna. There are no traces now left 
of the western half of the ramparts on the southern face, 
and the houses of the village of Garhaiod are standing on the 
very edge of the cliff overhanging the river. The reach of 
the river also from the Pakka JBurj at the south-west angle 
of the fortress up to the hill of Prabhdsa, a clear straight 
run of four miles, bears 12 degrees to the north of east, 
whereas in the time of Ilwen Thsang there were two Stupas 
and a cave at a distance of 1^ miles to the south-west of 
Kosdmbi. From all these concurring circumstances, I con- 
clude that the west front of the fortress was originally as 

* See Plate XLVIII, for a map of the ruins of Kosam. 



nearly as possible of tbe same length as the east front. This 
would add 2,400 feet, or nearly half a mile to the length of 
the west front, and would increase the whole circuit of the 
ramparts to 4 miles and 7 furlongs, which is within one 
furlong of the measurement of 5 miles, or 30 li recorded 
by Hwen Thsang. In three main points therefore of name, 
size, and position, the present Kosam corresponds most 
exactly with the ancient Kosamhi, as it is described by the 
Chinese pilgrim in the 7th century. 

Viewed from the outside, the ruins of Kosamhi present 
a most striking appearance. My previous enquiries had led 
me to except only a ruined mound some 20 or 30 feet in 
height covered with broken bricks. "What was my surprise, 
therefore, when still at some distance from the place on the 
north-east side, to behold extending for about 2 miles a long 
line of lofty earthen mounds as high as most of the trees. 
I felt at once that this was the celebrated Kosambi, the 
capital of the far-famed Raja TJdayana. On reaching the 
place I mounted one of the huge earthen bastions, from 
whence I had a clear view of the interior. This was very 
uneven but free from j an gal, the whole surface being thickly 
covered with broken bricks. In many places the "bricks 
were partially cleared away to form fields, but in others the 
broken bricks were so thickly strewn that the earth beneath 
was scarcely discernible. But I was disappointed to find 
that there were no prominent masses of ruin, — the only 
object that caught the eye being a modern Jain temple. 
I recognized the positions of six gates by the deep depres- 
sions in the lines of rampart. There are two of these open- 
ings on each of the three land faces of the fortress. 

The present village of Kosam consists of two distinct 
portions, named Kosam Indrn and Kosam Kliirdj, or “ Rent- 
free” and “Rent-paying” Kosam, the former being on the 
west, and the latter on the east side of the old fortress. 
Inside the ramparts, and on the bank of the Jumna, there 
are two small villages called GarTiawd Kara and Garhawa, 
Chota, their names being no doubt derived from their posi- 
tion within the fort or garh. Beyond Kosam Inam is the 
large village of Pah, containing 100 houses, and beyond 
Kosam Khiraj on the bank of the Jumna stands the hamlet 
of Gop-SaJiasa. To the north there is another hamlet 
called Ambd-Kua, because it possesses a large old well 



surrounded by a grove of mango trees. All these villages 
together do not contain more than 350 or 400 houses, with 
about 2,000 inhabitants. 

The great object of veneration at Kosambi was the 
celebrated statue of Buddha in red sandal wood, which was 
devoutly believed to have been made during the life time 
of Buddha by a sculptor whom King Udayana was permitted 
to send up to the Trayastrinsa heaven, while the great 
Teacher was explaining his law to his mother Maya. The 
statue was placed under a stone dome, within the precincts 
of the palace of Udayana, which is described by Hwen 
Thsang as being situated in the very middle of Kosambi. 
This description shows that the place must have occupied 
the position of the great central mass of ruin, which is 
now covered by a small Jain temple. The temple is said 
to have been built in 1834, and is dedicated to Pdrasndth. 
By the r people, however, it is generally called Deora or 
the Temple, which was the old name of the mound, and 
which, therefore, points unmistakably to the position of the 
ancient temple that once held the famous statue of Buddha. 
The foundations of a large building are still traceable 
both to the east and west of the temple ; but there are 
no remains either of sculpture or of architectural ornament. 
But in the village of Bara Garhawa, distant 1,500 feet to 
the south-west, I found two sculptured pillars of a Buddhist 
railing, and the pedestal of a statue inscribed with the well- 
known Buddhist profession of faith, beginning with Ye 
dharmma lietu prahhava, &c., in characters of the 3th dr 
9th century. In the village of Chota Garhawa, distant half 
a mile to the south-east, I found a small square pillar 
sculptured on three faces with representations of Stupas. 
The discovery of these undoubted Buddhist remains is alone 
sufficient to prove that some large Buddhist establishment 
must once have existed inside the walls of Kosambi. I 
would, therefore, assign the two pillars of the Buddhist rail- 
ing and the inscribed statue to the great Vihar in the palace, 
which contained the famous sandal wood statue of Buddha. 
The third pillar I would assign to the Stupa which contained 
the hair and nails of Buddha, as it was situated inside the 
south-east corner of the city, on the very site of Chota 
Garhawa, where the pillar itself was found. The two rail- 
ing pillars found at Bara Garhawa are sculptured with figures 



of a male and female ; and as "both of these figures exhibit, 
the very same scanty clothing as is seen in those of the 
bas-reliefs of the Sanchi Tope, near Bliilsa, I would refer 
the Kosambi pillars to the same age, or somewhere about 
the beginning of the Christian era. 

The only other existing relic of Buddhism inside the 
fort is a larsre stone monolith similar to those of Allahabad 


and Delhi, excepting only that it hears no ancient inscription. 
This column is now standing at an angle of 5°, about one- 
half of the shaft being buried in a mound of brick ruins. 
The portion of the shaft above ground is 14 feet in length, 
and close by there are two broken pieces, measuring respect- 
ively 4 feet 6 inches and 2 feet 3 inches. I made an ex- 
cavation completely round the pillar to a depth of 7 feet 
4 inches, without reaching the end of the polished portion of 
the shaft. All these figures added together give a total 
length of 28 feet ; but the pillar was no doubt several feet 
longer, as the shafts of all the five known monoliths exceed 
30 feet. The smallest diameter is 29^- inches, or nearly the 
same as that of the Lauriya-Ara-Maj pillar, and as the dia- 
meter increases in nearly the same proportion, I presume 
that the Kosambi pillar most probably had about the same 
height of 36 feet. According to the villagers, this pillar 
was in one piece as late as 50 years ago ; but it was leaning 
against a large Nhnb tree. The tree was old and hollow, and 
some cowherds having accidentally set fire to it, the top of 
the pillar was broken by the heat. Several different per- 
sons affirmed that the shaft was originally nearly double 
its present height. This would make the height above 
ground somewhat less than twice 14 feet, or say about 27 
feet, which, added to the ascertained smooth portion of 
7 feet 4 inches under ground, would make the original height 
of the smooth shaft upwards of 34 feet.* I found numerous 
roots of the old tree in my excavation round the pillar. The 
statement of the people that the Kosambi pillar has been 
leaning in its present position as long as they can remember, 
is curiously corroborated by the fact that an inscription dated 
in the reign of Akbar is cut across the face of the shaft at 
an angle of about 50° but parallel to the horizon. It seems 

* An excavation was made in 1870 by Mr. Nesbitt, District Engineer, winch exposed 
a total length of 34 feet, when the work was suspended. Mr. Neshitt supposes the length 
to exceed 10 feet. 



certain, therefore, that the pillar was in its present leaning 
position as early as the reign of Akbar ; and further, as this 
inscription is within reach of the hand, and as there are also 
others engraved beneath the present surface of the soil, I 
conclude that the pillar must have been buried as we now 
see it for a long time previous to the reign of Akbar. 

The inscriptions recorded on the Kosambi pillar range 
from the age of the Guptas down to the present day. The 
only record of the earliest period is the name of a pilgrim 
in six letters, which I have not succeeded in reading. At 
the top of the broken shaft there is an incomplete record 
of three letters ending in prdbhdra , which I would ascribe 
to the 4th or 5th century. The letters, which are three 
inches in length, are boldly cut, but the line which they 
form is not parallel to the sides of the pillar. The next 
inscription in point of time consists of six lines in characters 
of the Gth or 7th century. As this record is placed on the 
lower part of the shaft, from 3 to 4 feet beneath the present 
ground level, and as the lines are perpendicular to the sides 
of the shaft, I infer that at the time when it was inscribed, 
the pillar was still standing upright in its original position, 
and that the surrounding buildings were still in perfect 
order. This inference is fully borne out by Hwen Thsang’s 
account of the ancient palace of Udayana with its great 
Vihara, GO feet in height, and its stone dome forming a 
canopy over the statue of Buddha, all of which would seem 
to have been in good order at the date of his visit, a? he 
carefully mentions that the two different hath-hoiises ol 
Buddha, as well as the dwelling-house of Asanga Bodhisatwa 
were in ruins. Just above this inscription there are several 
records in the peculiar shell-shaped letters which James 
Prinsep noticed on the Allahabad pillar, and which I have 
found on most of the other pillars throughout Northern 
India. The remaining inscriptions, which are comparatively 
modern, are all recorded on the upper part of the shaft. 
That of Akbar’s time, which has already been referred to, 
is in Nagari as follows : — 

Mogal Pdtlsdh Akbar Patisdh Gaji ; for 

Mogal Pddshdh Akbar Padshah Ghazi. 

This is followed by a short record of a soni, or goldsmith, in 
three lines, below which is a long inscription dated in Samvat 



1621, or A. D. 1561, in tlie early part of Akbar’s reign, 
detailing the genealogy of a whole family of goldsmiths. It 
is in this inscription that the name of Kosdmbipura occurs, 
the founder of the family, named Anand Ram Das, having 
died at Kosam. The monolith is called Rdm-ka-charri, 
“ Ram’s walking stick,” by some, and by others Bhim-sen- 
Ica-Gadd, or “Bhim-sen’s club.” Inside the fort also, about 
midway between the two villages of Garhawd, I found a 
large lingam, bearing four heads, with three eyes each, and 
with the hair massed on the top of each head. The dis- 
covery of this costly symbol of Mahadeva shows that the 
worship of Siva must have been firmly established at 
Kosambi at some former period ; and as Hwen Thsang men- 
tions the existence of no less than 50 heretical (that is 
Brahmanical) temples at the time of his visit, I think it 
probable that the large lingam may have belonged to one of 
those early temples. 

To the south-west of Kosambi , distant 8 or 9 li, or 1| 
miles, Hwen Thsang describes a lofty Stupa of Asoka, 
200 feet in height, and a stone cavern of a venomous dragon, 
in which it was devoutly believed that Buddha had left his 
shadow. But the truthful pilgrim candidly says that this 
shadow was not to be seen in his time. If Hwen Thsang-’s 
south-west bearing is correct, the holy cave must have been 
carried away long ago by the encroachment of the Jumna, 
as the clear reach of the river above Kosambi, as far as the 
hill of Prabhasa, a distance of 1 miles, now bears 282° from 
the ‘south-west, of the old city, or 12° to the north of west. 
The hill of Prabhasa, which is on the left bank of the 
Jumna, is the only rock in the Antarved or Doab of the 
Ganges and Jumna. In a hollow between its two peaks 
stands a modern Jain temple, but there is no cavern, and 
no trace of any ancient biddings. 

At a short distance to the south-east of Kosambi, there 
was an ancient monastery containing a Stupa of Asoka, 200 
feet in height, which was built on the spot where Buddha 
had explained the law for many years. Beside the monas- 
tery, a householder named Kiu-shi-lo, formerly had a garden. 
Pa Hian calls it the garden of Kiu-sse-lo ; but by the Bud- 
dhists of Ceylon it is called the Ghosika garden. M. Julien 
renders the name doubtfully by Goshira , but it appears to 
me that the true name was most probably the Sanskrit 



Gosirsha, and the Pali Gosisci, which I believe to he still 
preserved in GopsaJisci, the name of a small village close to 
Cliotci Garhciwa. This name is now written Gopshasa , 
hut as the well known name of Janamejaya is written Jacj- 
medau , and also Jalmedar, by the half educated people of 
Kosam, I do not think that the slight difference of spelling 
between the ancient Gosisci and the present Gopshasa, forms 
any very strong objection to their identification, more espe- 
cially as the position of the Gosisa garden must have been 
as nearly as possible on the site of the Gopshasa village. 
There are no ancient remains about this village ; nor, indeed, 
could we expect to find any traces of the garden. But in 
the neighbouring village of Kosam Khirdj or Hisdmdhdd, the 
vestiges of ancient occupation are found everywhere, and 
this village I believe to have been the site of the monastery 
with its lofty Stupa of 200 feet, built by Asolcci, and its similar 
Stupa containing the hair and nails of Buddha. The position 
of this village, within one-quarter of a mile of the south- 
east comer of the ancient fort, agrees precisely with the site 
of the monastery as described by Hwen Thsang, “ a une 
petite distance ciu sud-cst de la ville.” In this village squared 
stones of all sizes may he seen in the walls of most of the 
houses, and after a little search I succeeded in finding four 
plain pillars of two different sizes which had once belonged 
to two different Buddhist railings. Two of these pillars are 
4 feet 9 inches in height, with a section of 12^ by 7 inches, 
which are also the exact dimensions of the largest railing 
pillars that have been found at Mathura. The other Two 
pillars are 2 feet 9 inches in height with a section of 7 by 
34 inches, which are the exact dimensions of the smallest 
sized railing pillars that have been found at Mathura. 
The larger pillars I would assign to the Buddhist railing, 
which in all probability once surrounded the lofty Stupa 
of Asoka, and the smaller pillars I would assign to the 
smaller Stupa, which contained the hair and nails of 

I found also the fragment of a corner pillar with the 
mortice holes for the reception of the rails on two adjacent 
sides at right angles to each other. I conclude, therefore, 
that this pillar must have belonged to the entrance doorway 
of one of the railings, although its face of 9 inches does not 
agree with the dimensions of either of the other pillars. 




From Kosambi the Chinese pilgrim travelled to the 
north-east, through a vast forest as far as the Ganges, after 
crossing which his route lay to the north for a distance of 
700 li, or 117 miles, to the town of Kia-she-pu-lo, which 
M. Julien correctly renders by Kasapura. In searching for 
the site of this place the subsequent route of the pilgrim to 
Visakhd, a distance of 170 to 180 li, or from 2S to 30 miles, 
to the north is of equal importance with the bearing and 
distance from Kosambi. For as the Visakha, of Hwen 
Thsang, as I will presently show, is the same place as the 
Sha-clii of Fa Ilian, and the Sdketa or Ayodhya of the 
Hindus, we thus obtain two such well fixed points as Kosambi 
and Ayodhya to guide us in our search. A single glance 
at the map will he sufficient to show that the old town of 
Sultanpur on the Goma.ti (or Gumti) Biver is as nearly as 
possible in the position indicated. Now the Hindu name of 
this town was Kusabliavanapura, or simply Kusapura, which 
is almost the same name as that of Hwen Thsang. Bemem- 
bering Mr. Bayley’s note of information derived from Baja 
Man Sinh that there was “ a tope near Sultanpur,” I pitched 
my tent on one side of the now utterly desolate city, and 
searched the whole place through most carefully, but all in 
vain : I could neither find the trace of any tope, nor could I 
even hear of ancient remains of any kind. On the following 
day, however, after I had left Sultanpur, I heard that the 
village of Mahmudpur, about 5 miles to the north-west, was 
situated on an ancient mound of somewhat larger size than 
that of Sultanpur, and on my arrival at Faizabad, I learned 
from Lieutenant Swetenham, of the Boval Engineers, that 
there is an old tope to the north-west of Sultanpur, not far 
from this village. I conclude, therefore, that Sultanpur, the 
ancient Kusapura, is the same place as the Kasapura of 
Hwen Thsang, and this identification will he made even 
more certain on examination of the recorded distances. 

On leaving Kosambi, the pilgrim proceeded first in a 
north-east direction to the Ganges, after crossing which he 
turned to the north to Kasapura, the whole distance being 
117 miles. Now, the two great ghats on the Ganges to the 
north-east of Kosam are at Mau-Saraya and Papamau, the 
former being 40 miles, and the latter 43 miles distant. 
But as these two ghats are close together, and almost 

Q 2 



immediately to the north of Allahabad, the total distance to 
Kasapura will be the same whichever place of crossing be 
taken. Prom Papamau to Sultanpur the direction is due 
north, and the distance 66 miles, the whole line from Kosam 
to Sultanpur being 109 miles, which is within 8 miles of 
the round number of 700 li, or 116§ miles as given by llwen 
Thsang, while both of the hearings are in exact accord- 
ance with his statements.* Prom Kasapura to Visuklia the 
direction followed by the pilgrim was to the north, and the 
distance was from 170 to 180 li, or from 28 to 38 miles. 
Now the present city of Ajudhya, the ancient Ayodliya or 
Saketa, is almost due north from Sultanpur, the distance 
being 30 miles to the nearest point, or just six miles in 
excess of the distance given by Hwen Thsang. As the 
former of these distances is in default, while the latter is in 
excess, I would suggest, as a possible alternative, that our 
measurements should be taken from the village of Mahmud- 
pur, which would make the route from Kosam to the Bud- 
dhist establishment near Kasapura up to 114 miles, or within 
three miles of the number stated by Hwen Thsang, and 
lessen the subsequent route to Ayodliya from 36 to 31 miles, 
which is within one mile of the number given by the Chinese 
pilgrim. As all these bearings are in perfect accordance, and 
as the names of the two places agree almost exactly, I think 
that there can he little hesitation in accepting the identi- 
fication of Sultanpur to Kusapura, with the Kasapura of 
Hwen Thsang. 

Kusapura or Kusa-hhavana-pura is said to have been 
named after Kama’s son Kusa. Shortly after the Muham- 
madan invasion it belonged to a Bhar Raja Nand Kunwar, 
who was expelled by Sultan Alauddin Ghori (read Kliilji). 
The defences of the town were strengthened by the con- 
queror, who built a mosque and changed the name of the 
place to Sultanpur. The site of Kusapura was, no doubt, 
selected by its founder as a good military position on account 
of its being surrounded on three sides by the River Gomati 
or Gomti. The place is now utterly desolate; the whole 
population having been removed to the new civil station ou 
the opposite or south bank of the river. The ruined fort 
of Sultanpur now forms a large mound, 750 feet square, 

* Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 200. 



with brick towers at the four corners. On all sides it is 
surrounded by the huts of the ruined town, the whole toge- 
ther covering a space of about half a mile square, or about 
two miles in circuit. This estimate of the size of Sultanpur 
agrees very closely with that of Kusapura given by Hwen 
Th sang, who describes the place as being 10 li, or If miles, 
in circuit. 


Before accompanying the pilgrim to the ancient city of 
Sdlceta or Ayodhya , I will take the opportunity of describ- 
ing the famous place of Ilindu pilgrimage called Dhopapa- 
pura, which is situated on the right or west bank of the 
Gomati Biver, 18 miles to "the south-east of Sultanpur, and 
immediately under the walls of the fort of Gar ha, or Shirka- 
Garhi. The legend of the place is as follows : — After 
Hama Chandra had killed the giant Havana he wandered 
about trying to obtain purification for his guilt in having 
thus extinguished a portion of the spirit of Brahma 
( Brahma-ka-ans) ; but all his efforts were ineffectual, until he 
met with a white crow, when he was informed by the Muni 
Vasislitha that the crow had become white from having 
bathed in the Gomati llivcr at a particular spot. Bama 
proceeded to bathe at the same spot, and was immediately 
purified, or “ cleansed” from his sin. The place was ac- 
cordingly named Bho-papa, or “ cleanser of sins” and the 
town which soon sprang up beside it was called Bliopdpapura. 
In Sanskrit the form is Dhutapdpa, which is given in the 
list of the Vishnu Purana as the name of a river distinct 
from the Gomati; but as the name immediately follows 
that of the Gomati, I think it probable that the term may 
have been intended only as an epithet of the Gomati , as 
the Dlmtapdpa, or “ Sin-cleanser,” in allusion to the 
legend of Bama’s purification. An annual fair is held here 
on the 10th day on the waning moon of Jyesth, at which 
time it is said that about fifty thousand people assemble to 
bathe in the far-renowned pool of Bhopapa. 

The site of Bhopdp is evidently one of very consider- 
able antiquity, as the whole country for more than half a 
mile around it is covered vriih broken bricks and pottery. 
The place is said to have belonged to the JBhar Bajas of 
Kusabhavanapura or Sultanpur, but the only name that I 



could hear of as specially connected with DhopCip , was that 
of Raja Ilel or Ilela. The village of Dliopdp-pur is now a 
very small one, containing less than 200 houses ; but they 
are all built of burnt brick, and numerous foundations are 
visible on all sides near the Gomati River. Several carved 
stones have been collected by the people from the ruined 
walls of the fort of Garhd. Amongst them I observed the 
following : — ls£, a broken pilaster with two human figures ; 
2nd, a stone bracket ; 3 rd, a square capital of pillar ; 4 th, 
a four-bracket capital of a pillar; 5 tli, two stones with 
socket holes for iron cramps. All of these stones point 
unmistakably to the existence at some former period of a 
large temple at Dhopap, which was probably situated imme- 
diately above the bathing ghat. It seems almost certain, 
however, that there must once have been a considerable 
number of temples at this place, for the whole of the eastern 
wall or river front of the fort of Garhd has been built or 
faced with square stones, which, by their carvings and 
cramp-holes, show that they belonged to Hindu temples. 

The fort of Garhd is situated to the north of the village 
on a lofty natural mound overhanging the River Gomati on 
the east. To the north and south the place is defended by two 
deep ravines supplied with running water, and to the west 
by a deep dry ravine. The position is, therefore, a strong 
one ; for, although the neighbouring mounds to the north 
and west rise to nearly the same height, yet they once form- 
ed part of the city, which can only be approached over n&ucli 
low and broken ground. The strength of the position would 
seem to have early attracted the notice of the Muhammadan 
Kings of Delhi, as the fort is stated to have been repaired 
by Salim Shah, whilst a very old ruinous masjid stands on 
the west mound. The fort itself is a small place, its northern 
face being only 550 feet long, its eastern and western 
faces 550 feet each, whilst its south face is but 250 feet. 
The greater part of the stone work of the south-east tower has 
fallen into the river, where many of the stones are now lying, 
and much of the eastern wall has also disappeared, the stones 
being very valuable in a stoneless country for the sharpening 
of tools of all kinds. The entrance gate was on the south 
side, near the river bastion just mentioned. I obtained coins 
of many of the early Muhammadan Kings, from Naser- 
uddin Mahmud Gliori down to Akbar, but not a single 

Plat eX LIX 

- I 



specimen of any Hindu coinage, although I was informed 
that coins hearing figures arc found every year during the 
rainy season. 

I may here mention that I heard of another place of 
Hindu pilgrimage on the north hank of the Gomati River, 
at a spot called Set-Barak, that is Sweta- Vardha , or “ the 
white Boar,” 15 kos , or 30 miles, from SuMnpur towards 
Lucknow. Two annual fairs are held there, — lsif, on the ninth 
day of the waxing moon of Chaitra, and the 2nd, on the 
fifteenth day of the waxing moon of Kartik, when it is said 
that about fifty thousand people assemble to bathe. The 
former period is connected with the history of Rama Chan- 
dra, as it is commonly known as the Bdm-navami Tiratli or 
“Rama’s ninth (day) place of pilgrimage.” I could not 
learn anything regarding the origin of the name of Set Barak, 


Much difficulty has been felt regarding the position of 
Fa-Hian’s “ great kingdom of Ska-chi, and of Hwen Thsang’s 
Visdkkd, with its enormous number of heretics,” or Brah- 
manists ; but I hope to show in the most satisfactory manner 
that these two places are identical, and that they are also 
the same as the Sdketa and Ajudhya of the Hindus. The diffi- 
culty has arisen chiefly from an erroneous bearing recorded 
by Fa Hian, who places Skewei, or Srdvasti, to the south of 
Sha-cki, while Hwen Thsang locates it to the north-east, and 
partly from his erroneous distance of 7 + 3 + 10=20 yojans, 
instead of 30, from the well-known city of Sankisa. The 
bearing is shown to be erroneous by the route of a Hindu 
pilgrim from the banks of the Godavery to Sewet, or Srd- 
vasti, as recorded in the Ceylonese Buddhist works.* This 
pilgrim, after passing through Mahissati and Ujani, or 
Maheshmati and Ujain, reaches Kosambi, and from thence 
passes through Sdketa to Seioet, that is, along the very 
route followed by Hwen Thsang. We have, therefore, two 
authorities in favour of Sewet being to the north of Saket. 
With regard to the distance, I refer again to the Buddhist 
books of Ceylon, in which it is recorded that from Sakespura 
(or Sangkasyapura, now Sankisa) to Seioet was a journey of 

* Hardy, “Manual of Buddhism,” p. 331. 



30 yojans. Now, Pa Ilian makes the distance from Sankisa 
to Kanoj 7 yojans, thence to the forest of Holi, on the 
Ganges, 3 yojans, and thence to Shachi 10 yojans, or alto- 
gether only 20 yojans, or 10 less than the Ceylonese hooks.* 
That Pa Ilian’s statement is erroneous is quite clear from 
the fact that his distance would place Shachi in the neigh- 
bourhood of Lucknow ; whereas the other distance would 
place it close to Ajudhya, or Paizabad, or in the very position 
indicated by Hwen Thsang’s itinerary. Here, again, we 
have two authorities in favour of the longer distance. I have 
no hesitation, therefore, in declaring that Pa Hian’s recorded 
hearing of She-icei from Sha-chi is wrong, and that “ north” 
should he read instead of “ south.” 

I have now to show that Pa Hian’s Sha-chi is the same 
as nwen Thsang’s Visdkha, and that both are identical with 
Saketa or Ajudhya. With respect to Sha-chi, Pa Hian 
relates that, on “ leaving the town by the southern gate, you 
find to the east of the road the place where Buddha hit off a 
piece of his tooth brush, and planted it in the ground, where 
it grew to the height of seven feet, and never increased or 
diminished in size.” Now this is precisely the same legend 
that is related of Visdkha by Hwen Tlisang, who says that 
“ to the south of the capital, and to the left of the road 
(that is, to the east as stated by Pa Hian), there was, amongst 
other holy objects, an extraordinary tree 6 or 7 feet high, 
which always remained the same, neither growing nor decreas- 
ing.! This is the celebrated tooth-brush tree of Buddha* to 
which I shall have occasion to refer presently. Here I 
need only notice the very precise agreement in the two des- 
criptions of this famous tree, as to its origin, its height, and 
its position. The perfect correspondence of these details ap- 
pears to me to leave no doubt of the identity of Pa Hian’s 
Shachi with the Visakha of Hwen Tlisang. 

With respect to the identification of Visakha with the 
Saketa of the Hindus, I rest my proofs chiefly on the fol- 
lowing points : — ls^, that Visdkha, the most celebrated of all 
females in Buddhist history, was a resident of Saketa before 
her marriage with JPurnna Varddliana , son of Mrigara , the 

* Beal's “ Fa Hian,” pp. 71-72 ; and Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 301. 
f Beal’s Fa Hian, c. XIX ; and Julieu’s Hwen Tlisang, II., 291. 



rich merchant of Srdvasti ; and 2nd, that Buddha is re- 
corded by Hwen Thsang to have spent six years at Visdkha, 
while by the Pali annals of Tumour he is stated to have 
lived 16 years at Sdketa. 

The story of the noble maiden Visakha is related at 
great length in the Ceylonese hooks. According to Hardy, 
she erected a Purvvdrama at Srdvasti, which is also mentioned 
by Hwen Thsang. Now there was also a Purvvdrdma at 
Saketa, and it can hardly he doubted that this monastery was 
likewise built by her.* She was the daughter of Dhananja, 
a rich merchant, who had emigrated from Paj agrilia to 
Sdketa. Now, amongst the oldest inscribed coins which 
have been discovered only at Ajudhya, we find some bearing 
the names of Dhana T)eva and Visdkha- Datta. I mention 
this because it seems to me to show the probability that the 
family of Dhananja and Visdkha was of great eminence in 
Sitketa or Ayodhya ; and I infer from the recurrence of their 
names, as well as from the great celebrity of the lady, that 
the city may possibly have been called Visdkha after her 

The other proof which I derive from the years of Buddha’s 
residence is direct and convincing. According to the Cey- 
lonese annals, Buddha was 35 years of age when he attained 
Buddliahood ; he then led a houseless life for 20 years, 
preaching in various places in Northern India, all of which arc 
detailed ; and of the remaining 25 years of his life he spent 
9 in the Jetavana monastery at Sravasti, and 16 in the 
Pubhardmo monastery at Saketapura. Now, in the Burmese 
annals, these numbers are given as 19 years and 6 years, and 
in the last figure we have the exact number recorded by 
Hwen Thsang. Nothing can be more complete than this 
proof. There were only two places at which Buddha resided 
for any length of time, namely, Srdvasti, at which he lived 
either 9 or 19 years, and Sdketa, at which he lived either 6 
or 16 years ; and as according to Hwen Thsang he lived for 6 
years at Visakha, which is described as being at some distance 
to the south of Sravasti, it follows of necessity that Visakha 
and Saketa were one and the same place. 

* Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, p. 227 ; and Julien’s Hwen Thsang, I., 305. See also 
Pubharaino mentioned by Tumour in Bengal Asiatio Society’s Journal, VII., 7U0. 


The identity of SaJceta and Ayodhya lias, I believe, 
always been admitted ; but I am not aware that any proof 
has yet been offered to establish the fact. Csoma-de-koros, 
in speaking of the place, merely says “ Salcetwia or Ayo- 
dhya,” aud H. II. Wilson, in his Sanskrit Dictionary, calls 
Sdketa “ the city Ayodhya.” But the question would appear 
to be set at rest by several passages of the Bamayana and 
and llagliuvansa, in which Saketnagara is distinctly called 
the capital of Baja Dasaratha and his sons. But the fol- 
lowing verse of the Bamayana, which was pointed out to me 
by a Brahman of Lucknow, will be sufficient to establish the 
identity. Aswajita , father of Kaikeyi, offers to give his 
daughter to Dasaratha, Bajah of Sdketcmagara : — 

Saketam nag ay am Baja ndmna Dasaratko ball, 

Tdsmai deyd maya Kanyd Kaikeyi ndma to j and. 

The ancient city of Ayodhya or Saketa is described in 
the Bamayana as situated on the bank of the Sarayu or 
Sarju Biver. It is said to have been 12 yojans, or nearly 
100 miles in circumference, for which we should probably 
read 12 kos, or 21 miles — an extent which the old city, with 
all its gardens, might once possibly have covered. The distance 
from the Guptdr Ghat on the west, to the Bam Ghat on the 
cast, is j ust 6 miles in a direct line ; and if we suppose that 
the city with its suburbs and gardens formerly occupied the 
whole intervening space to a depth of two miles, its circuit 
would have agreed exactly with the smaller measurement of 
12 kos. At the present clay the people point to Bam .Ghat 
and Guptar Ghat as the eastern and western boundaries of 
the old city, and the southern boundary they extend to 
Bharat- Kund near Bhadarsd, a distance of G kos. But as 
these limits include all the places of pilgrimage, it would 
seem that the people consider them to have been formerly 
inside the city, which was certainly not the case. In the 
Ain Akbari, the old city is said to have measured 148 kos 
in length by 3G kos in breadth, or in other words it covered 
the whole of the Province of Oudli to the south of the 
Ghaghra Biver.* The origin of the larger number is obvious. 
The 12 yojans of the Bamayana, which arc equal to 48 kos , 
being considered too small for the great city of Bama, the 
Brahmans simply added 100 kos to make the size tally with 

* Gladwin's translation, II., 32. 



their own extravagant notions. The present city of Ajudhya, 
which is confined to the north-east corner of the old site, is 
just two miles in length hy about three-quarters of a mile in 
breadth ; hut not one-half of this extent is occupied by 
buildings, and the whole place Avcars a look of decay. There 
are no high mounds of ruins, covered with broken statues 
and sculptured pillars, such as mark the sites of other 
ancient cities, but only a low irregular mass of rubbish heaps, 
from which all the bricks have been excavated for the houses 
of the neighbouring city of Faizabad. This Muhammadan 
city, which is two miles and-a-half in length, by one mile in 
breadth, is built chiefly of materials extracted from the ruins 
of Ajudhya. The two cities together occupy an area of 
nearly six square miles, or just about one-lialf of the probable 
size of the ancient Capital of llama. In Faizabad the only 
building of any consequence is the stuccoed brick tomb of 
the old Bliao Begam, whose story was dragged before the 
public during the famous trial of Warren Hastings. Faiza- 
bad Avas the capital of the first Nawabs of Oudli, but it was 
deserted by Asaf-ud-daolah in A. D. 1775. 

According to the llamayana, the city of Ayodhya was 
founded by Manu, the progenitor of all mankind. In the 
time of Dasaratha, the father of Rama, it was fortified with 
towers and gates, and surrounded by a deep ditch. No traces 
of these works uoav remain, nor is it likely, indeed, that any 
portion of the old city should still exist, as the Ayodhya of 
llama is said to have been destroyed after the death of 
Vrihadbala in the great war about B. C. 1426, after which it 
lay deserted until the time of Vikramaditya. According to 
popular tradition this Vikramaditya was the famous Sakari 
Prince of Ujain, but as the Hindus of the present day attri- 
bute the acts of all Vikramas to this one only, their opinion 
on the subject is utterly Avorthless. We learn, however, from 
HAven Tlisang that a powerful Prince of this name was 
reigning in the neighbouring city of Sravasti, just one hun- 
dred years after Kanislika, or close to 7S A. I)., which was 
the initial year of the Sake era of Sdlivdhana. As this 
Vikramaditya is represented as hostile to the Buddhists, he 
must have been a zealous Bralimanist, and to him therefore 
I would ascribe the re-building of Ayodhya and the restora- 
tion of all the holy places referring to the history of Hama, 
Tradition says that when Vikramaditya came to Ayodhya, he 



found it utterly desolate and overgrown with jangal , hut lie 
w r as able to discover all the famous spots of Kama’s history 
by measurements made from Lakshman Gliat on the Sarju, 
according to the statements of ancient records. lie is said 
to have erected 360 temples, on as many different spots, 
sacred to Rama , and Sitd his wife, to his brothers Lalcshmana , 
JBharata , and Satrughna , and to the monkey god Hanumana. 
The number of 360 is also connected with Sdlivdhana , as his 
clansman the Rais Rajputs assert that he had 360 wives. 

There are several very holy Brahmanical temples about 
Ajudliya, but they are all of modern date, and without any 
architectural pretensions whatever. But there can he no 
doubt that most of them occupy the sites of more ancient 
temples that were destroyed by the Musulmans. Thus 
Rdmlcot , or Uanumdn Garlii, on the cast side of the city, is 
a small walled fort surrounding a modern temple on the top 
of an ancient mound. The name Kamkot is certainly old, 
as it is connected with the traditions of the Mani Rarbat, 
which will he hereafter mentioned ; hut the temple of Hanu- 
man is not older than the time of Aurangzib. Bam Ghat, 
at the north-east corner of the city, is said to be the spot 
where Kama bathed, and Sargdwari or Swargadwdri , the 
“ Gate of Paradise.” On the north-west is believed to be the 
place where his body was burned. Within a few years ago 
there was still standing a very holy Banyan tree called Asok 
Rat, or the “ Griefless Banyan,” a name which was probably 
connected with that of Swargadwdri, in the belief that 
people who died or were burned at this spot were at once 
relieved from the necessity of future births. Close by is the 
Lakshman Ghat, where his brother Lakshman bathed, and 
about one-quarter of a mile distant, in the very heart of the 
city, stands the Janam Astlidn, or “ Birth-place temple” of 
Kama. Almost due w r est, and upwards of five miles distant, 
is the Guptdr Ghat, with its group of modern white- washed 
temples. This is the place where Lakshman is said to have 
disappeared, and hence its name of Guptdr from Gupta, 
which means “ hidden or concealed.” Some say that it was 
Kama who disappeared at this place, but this is at variance 
with the story of his cremation at Swargadwdri. 

The only remains at Ajudhya that appear to be of any 
antiquity, arc three earthen mounds to the south of the city, 
and about a quarter of a mile distant. These are called 



Mani-Parbat, Kuber-Parbat, and Sugrib-Parbat * The first, 
which is nearest to the city, is an artificial mound, 65 feet 
in height, covered with broken bricks and blocks of lconkar . 
The old bricks are eleven inches square and three inches 
thick. At 46 feet above the ground on the west side, there 
arc the remains of a curved wall faced with Uankar blocks. 
The mass at this point is about 40 feet thick, and this was 
probably somewhat less than the size of the building which 
once crowned this lofty mound. According to the Brahmans 
the Mani-Parbat is one of the hills which the monkeys made 
use of when assisting Eama. It was accidentally dropped 
here by Sugriva, the monkey-king of Kishkindhya. But the 
common people, who know nothing of this story, say that the 
mound was formed by the labourers shaking their baskets on 
this spot every evening on their return home from the building 
of Ramkot. It is therefore best known by the name of 
Jhowa-Jhdr or Ora Jhdr , both of which mean “ basket- 
shakings.” A similar story is told of the large mounds near 
Banaras, Nimsar, and other places. 

Rive hundred feet due south from the large mound 
stands the second mound called Kuber-Parbat , which is only 
28 feet in height. The surface is an irregular heap of brick 
rubbish, with numerous holes made by the people in digging 
for bricks, which are of large size, 11 inches by 7^ by 2. It 
is crowned by two old tamarind trees, and is covered with 
jangal. Close by on the south-west there is a small tank, 
called Ganes-Kund by the Hindus, and Husen Kund or Imam 
Talao by the Musulmans, because their Tdzias are annually 
deposited in it. Still nearer on the south-east there is a 
large oblong mound called Sugrib-Parbat, which is not more 
than 8 or 10 feet above the ground level. It is divided into 
two distinct portions ; that to the north being upwards of 
300 feet square at top, and the other to the south upwards of 
200 feet. In the centre of the larger enclosure there is a 
ruined mound containing bricks 8-} inches square, and in the 
centre of the smaller mound there is a well. 

Between the Mani and Kuber mounds there is a 
small Muhammadan enclosure, 64 feet long from east 
to west and 47 feet broad, containing two brick tombs, 
which are attributed to Sis Paighambar and Ayub 
Paighambar, or the “prophets Seth and Job.” The 

* See Plate No. XLTX. for a map of the ruins of Ajudhya. 


first is 17 feet long and the other 12 feet. These tomhs arc 
mentioned by Abul Eazl, who says — “ Near this city arc two 
sepulchral monuments, one seven and the other six cubits in 
length. The vulgar pretend that they arc the tombs of Seth 
and Job, and they relate wonderful stories of them.”* This 
account shows that since the time of Akbar, the tomb of 
Seth must have increased in length from 7 cubits, or 10^ 
feet, to 17 feet through the frequent repairs of pious 

The mounds are surrounded by Musulman tombs, and as 
it is the Muhammadan practice to bury the dead along the sides 
of the high roads close to their cities, I infer that the road 
which now runs close to the westward of the mounds, is one 
of the ancient high ways of the district. This is confirmed 
by the existence of an old masonry bridge of three arches 
over the Tilahi ncila, to the north-west of the Mani-Parbat, 
as well as by the direction of the road itself, which leads 
from the south-end of the city straight to the Bharat-kund, 
and onwards to Sultanpur or Kusapura, and Allahabad or 
Prdydga. I notice this road thus minutely, because the iden- 
tifications which I am about to propose are based partly on 
its position and direction, as well as on the general agreement 
of the existing remains with the holy places described by the 
Chinese pilgrims. 

According to Pa Hian the place where Buddha planted 
the holy trees was to the east of the road, on issuing from 
the town by the southern gate. II wen Thsang’s account 
agrees with this exactly in placing the “ extraordinary tree” 
to the south of the capital and to the left of the route. 
This tree was the celebrated “ tooth brush,” or twig used in 
cleaning the teeth, which having been cast away by Buddha, 
took root and grew to between 6 and 7 feet in height. Now, 
it will be observed that the ruined mounds that still exist, 
as well as the tombs of Seth and Job, are to the south of 
the city and to the east or left of the road. The position, 
therefore, is unmistakably the same as that described by the 
Chinese pilgrims, and as the actual state of the ruins agrees 
well with the details given by Hwen Tlisang, I think that 
there can be no reasonable doubt of their identity. 

II wen Tlisang describes the city of VisdJcha as being 1G li, 
or 2§ miles in circuit. In his time, therefore, the capital of 

* Gladwin’s “ Aiu Akbari,” II., 33. 


llama was not more than half of its present size, although it 
probably contained a greater population, as not above one-third, 
or even perhaps less, of the present town is inhabited. The 
old city then possessed no less than twenty monasteries with 
three thousand monks and about fifty Brahmauical temples, 
with a very large Bralimanical population. Prom this 
account we learn that so early as the seventh century more than 
three hundred of the original temples of Yikramaditya had 
already disappeared, and we may therefore reasonably infer 
that the city had been gradually declining for some time 
previously. The Buddhist monuments, however, would 
appear to have been in good order, and the monks were just 
as numerous as in the eminently Buddhist city of Banaras. 

The first monument described by Ilwen Thsang is a 
great monastery without name, but as it was the only notable 
monastery, it was most probably either the KdlaJcdrama 
of Saketa, or the Pnrvvardma , both of which are mentioned 
in the Ceylonese Maliawanso. The monks were of the 
school of the Samattiyas, and their monastery was famous 
for having produced three of the most eminent Buddhist 
controversialists. This monastery I would identity with the 
Svgrib Parbat which I have already described as being about 
500 feet long by 300 feet broad. The great size and rect- 
angular form of this ruin are sufficient to show that it must 
have been a monastery, but this is placed beyond all doubt 
by the existence of an interior well and by the remains of 
cloistered rooms forming the four sides of the enclosure. 
Its position to the south of the city, and to the east or left 
of the road, has already been specially noticed as agreeing 
with the recorded position of the monastery. 

Beside the monastery there was a Stupa of Asoka, 200 
feet in height, built on the spot where Buddha preached the 
law during his six years’ residence at Saketa. This monu- 
ment I would identify with the Mani-Parbat , which is still 
G5 feet in height, and which with its masonry facing must 
once have been at least as high again, and with the usual 
lofty pinnacle of metal may easily have reached a height of 
200 feet. Hwen Thsang ascribes the erection of this monu- 
ment to Asoka, and I see no reason to question the accuracy 
of his statement, as the mixed structure of half earth and 
half masonry must undoubtedly be very ancient. The ear- 
liest Stupas, or topes, were simple earthen mounds or barrows, 



similar to those that still exist in England. There are many 
of these harrows still standing at Lau r iy a - Nava n cigar h to 
the north of Bettiya, but this is the only place where I have 
yet seen them. They arc undoubtedly the most ancient 
monuments of the Indian population, and I firmly believe 
that even the very latest of them cannot be assigned to a 
lower date than the fifth century before Christ. I base this 
belief on the known fact that all the monuments of Asoka’s 
age, whether described by II wen Thsang, or actually opened 
by myself near Bhilsa, are either of stone or brick. The earthen 
harrows are therefore of an earlier age; but such as are 
Buddhist cannot possibly be earlier than the beginning of 
the fifth century before Christ. In the case of the Mani- 
Parbat at Ajudliya I infer that the earthen barrow, or lower 
portion, may belong to the earlier ages of Buddhism, and 
that the masonry or upper portion was added by Asoka. 
At the foot of the mound I picked up a broken brick with 
the letter sh, of the oldest form, stamped upon it ; but as this 
is almost certainly of later date than Asoka, it most pro- 
bably did not belong to the Mani-Parbat building. 

Ilwen Thsang next describes the sites of the tooth- 
brush tree and of the monument where the four previous 
Buddhas used to sit and to take exercise, as being close to 
the great Stupa. These places I would identify with the 
court-yard containing the tombs of Seth and Job, which 
touches the south side of the Mani-Parbat. The two tombs 
I take to be the remains of the seats of the four previous 
Buddhas, and the paved court-yard to be the scene of their 
daily walks, although I was unable to trace their foot-marks, 
which were seen by the Chinese pilgrim. 

The last monument described by Hwen Thsang is a 
Stupa containing the hair and nails of Buddha. This was 
surrounded by a number of smaller monuments which seemed 
to touch one another, and by several tanks which reflected 
the sacred buildings in their limpid waters. The Stupa I 
would identify with the Kuber-Parbai, which touches the 
south side of the enclosure round the tombs of Seth and 
Job, and is close to the west side of the ruined monastery. 
One of the tanks described by the pilgrim may be the Ganes- 
Kund, which has already been noticed ; but all the smaller 
monuments have disappeared long ago, as they afforded 


cheap and ready materials for tlic construction of tlie numer- 
ous Muhammadan tombs, as well as of the neighbouring 
bridge and mosque. If I am right in my identification of 
this mound as the remains of the Stupa containing the hair 
and nails of Buddha, I think that an excavation in the 
centre of the mound might, perhaps, verify the accuracy of 
my conclusions. 

The people are unanimous in their assertion that the 
old city to the north of these mounds was called Baretci. 
Ayodhya or Ajudhya, they say, was the capital of Rama, hut 
the later city was called Bareta. As this name has no simi- 
larity either to Sdlceta or Visdkhci, I can only set it down as 
another appellation of the old town, for which we have 
no authority hut tradition. I was disappointed when at 
Ajudhya in not hearing even the most distant allusion to the 
legend of the tooth-hrush tree of Buddha, hut the tradition 
still exists, as I heard of it quite unexpectedly at two differ- 
ent places immediately afterwards, first at Bdtila, distant 15 
miles, and next at Gonda, 29 miles to the north of Ajudhya. 


The ancient territory of Ayodhya was divided hy the 
Sarju or Ghdghra River into two great provinces, — that to 
the north being called U ttara Kosala, and that to the south 
Banaodha. Each of these was again sub-divided into two 
districts. In Banaodha these are called Bachham-rdt and 
Burab-rdt, or the western and eastern districts, with reference 
to their hearing from Ajudhya; and in IJ ttara Kosala they 
are Gaudci (vulgarly Gonda) to the south of the Rapti, and 
Kosala to the north of the Rapti, or Rawati, as it is univer- 
sally called in Oudh. Some of these names are found in the 
Puranas ; thus in the Vayu Purana, Lava, the son of Kama, 
is said to have reigned in Uttara Kosala ; hut in the Matsya, 
Linga, and Kurma Purans, Srdvasti is stated to he in Gauda. 
These apparent descrepancies are satisfactorily explained 
when we learn that Gauda is only a sub-division of Uttara 
Kosala, and that the ruins of Sravasti have actually been 
discovered in the district of Gauda, which is the Gonda of 
the maps.* The extent of Gauda is also proved hy the old 

* See Plate No, I., map of tlie Gauge-tie Provinces. 



name of BalrAmpur on the Rapti, which was formerly 
Bdmgarh Gauda. I presume therefore that hotli the Gando 
Brahmans and the Gauda Togas must have belonged to this 
district originally, and not to the mediaeval city of Gauda in 
Bengal. Brahmans of this name are still numerous in 
Ajudhya and Jaliangirabad on the right bank of the Ghaghra 
River in Gouda, Pakhapur, and Jaisni of the Gouda District, 
and in many parts of the neighbouring Province of Gorakh- 

The small village of Udtila derives its name from the 
sister’s son of Sayid Sfdar. The old Hindu name was 
Asolepur , so called from a large temple of Asolcndth Mahadeo. 
Hatila was killed in an assault on the temple, and his tomb, 
a low-domed building only 20 feet square, is still much 
frequented as the shrine of a Ghdzi or martyr for the faith. 
It is built entirely of large bricks from the ruins of the old 
temple of Asokndtli. The remains consist of a low mound, 
700 feet long by 500 feet broad, with three prominent masses 
of ruin on the north side. I made an excavation in the 
north-west ruin near the base of a large Mahwa tree, but 
without any result, as a small Muhammadan tomb on the 
top prevented me from digging in the centre. But the 
coolies employed on the work voluntarily informed me that 
the Mahwa tree had been the “ tooth-brush” of a Raja who 
stuck it in the ground and it grew to be a tree. Prom this 
tradition, which also exists at Gonda, I infer that it was 
usual to make cuttings and to take seeds from the famous 
danta-dhdwan or “ tooth-brush tree” of Sdketa for distribu- 
tion to religious establishments, just as cuttings from the 
Bodhi tree at Gaya were made lor the same purpose. Both 
Pa Hian and Hwen Thsang agree in stating that the Danta- 
dhdwan of Saketa was only seven feet high, and that it 
never grew any higher, which would seem to show that it 
was only a small tree or shrub ; and this, indeed, is actually 
the case with the Datton, or “ tooth-brush tree” of Gonda, 
which is a Chilhil, or shrub eaten by goats, that never exceeds 
8 or 10 feet. I conclude therefore that the original tooth- 
brush tree of Hatila has disappeared, and that the name 
has been applied to the Mahwa , which is the only tree now 
remaining on the mound. 

The north-cast mound is a mere undistiuguishablc mass 
of broken bricks, but the central mound is still covered 



with the ruins . , the temple of Asoknath Mahadco 

containing; a large broken lingam. Portions of the brick 
walls, which still remain, show that the temple was only 
12 feet square ; but the whole has been lifted up by 
the roots of a gigantic Pipal tree, which still hold the 
bricks together by their interlacings. These remains 
attracted the attention of Buchanan Hamilton during his 
survey of Gorakhpur, who remarks that “ a wild fig tree 
having taken root on the lingo, will soon cover it.”* This 
actually took place, and the lingo was almost completely 
hidden by the matted roots of the Pipal, until the tree was 
cut down by the Tahsildar of the neighbouring village of 
Vazirganj in A. D. 1862. As the cut stem of the Pipal 
shows 819 annual rings, the tree must have been planted in 
A. D. 1013, during the reign of Mahmud of Ghazni. This, 
indeed, is about the date of the temple itself, which is said 
to have been built by Suhri-dal, Baja of Asokpur, and the 
antagonist of Sayid Salar. The Baja is also called Suhal-dhar , 
Sohil-dal, and Soldi Deo , and is variously said to have been 
a Thdru , a Dhar, a Kalahansa, or a Dais Rajput. The 
majority, however, is in favor of his having been a Tlidru. 
The mound with the Mahwo tree is called Raja Sohil-dal-ka- 
klialanga, or Sohil-dal’s seat.” His city of Asokpur is said 
to have extended to Domariya-Dih, 2 hos to the north, and 
to Sareya Dili, half a kos to the south of the temple. At both 
of these places there are old brick-covered mounds, in 
which several hundreds of coins have been lately found. 
Most of the coins belong to the early Musulman Kings of 
Delhi, the Ghoris and Khiljis ; but there were also a few 
Hindu coins, in base silver and copper, with the Boar 
incarnation of Vishnu on one side, and the legend of Sri- 
mad- Adi- Vardlia on the reverse in mediaeval characters. As 
these coins are referred to by name, in an inscription of 
A. D. 920, as Sri-mad- Adi- Varalia drammas, or “ Boar in- 
carnation drachmas,” the mounds in which they have been 
discovered must be of still earlier date. Tradition gives the 
genealogy of the Bajas of Gouda as follows : 

A. D. 900 1 Mora-dhaj, or Mayura-dliwaja 

925 2 Hans-dliaj, or Hansa-dhwaja. 

950 3 Makar-dhaj, or Makara-dhwaja. 

975 1 Sudhanwa-dhaj. 

1000 5 Suhridal-dhaj, contemporary of 


* ‘‘ Eastern India,” IT., 3S0. 

s 2 



I give this genealogy vritli the probable dates, as it may, 
perhaps, he of use hereafter in fixing the age of other 
Princes and their works.* 


The position of the famous city of Srdvasti, one of the 
most celebrated places in the annals of Buddhism, has long 
puzzled our best scholars. This was owing partly to the con- 
tradictory statements of the Chinese pilgrims themselves, 
and partly to the want of a good map of the Province of 
Oudh. In page 317 I have compared the bearings and 
distances recorded by Fa Ilian and II wen Thsang with those 
preserved in the Buddhist annals of Ceylon, and I have 
shewn conclusively that Fa Ilian’s distance from Sankisa 
and his bearing from Shachi or Sdket are both erroneous. 
We know from Hwen Thsang and the Buddhist books in 
Ceylon that Srdvasti was to the north of Salict or Ayodhya, or 
in other words, that it was in the District of Gauda or JJttara 
Kosala, which is confirmed by the statements of no less than 
four of the Brahmanical Puranas. As Fa Hian also says 
that Sheivei or Seivet was in Kosala, there can be no doubt 
whatever that Srdvasti must be looked for within a few days’ 
journey to the northward of Saket or Ayodhya. According 
to Fa Hian the distance was 8 yojanas, or 56 miles, which 
is increased by Hwen Thsang to 500 li, or 83 miles. But as 
the latter ' pilgrim reduced the Indian yojana to Chinese 
measure at the rate of 40 li per yojana, I would correct his 
distance by the nearest round number of 350 li or 58 miles 
to bring it into accordance with the other. Now, as this is 
the exact distance from Ajudhya of the great ruined city on 

* Since this account was written, I have found the name of Mora-dhaj attached to several 
other places, especially to an old ruined fort in Rohilkhand, which is still named Mora-dhaj, 
and which will be described in Volume II. In Sir Henry Elliot’s Muhammadan Historians, 
Volume II., p. 513, will be found a detailed account of the mad expedition of Salar Musaud, 
which, although a late compilation of the traditions current in the reign of Jahangir, is pro- 
bably correct in its general outlines. According to this account Salar Musaud, after an 
engagement with the Hindus, rested under the shade of a Mahwa tree, on the bank of the 
Suraj-kund, close to the idol temple of Balarukh. The place w>as several marches distant 
from Bahraich, as he returned to Bahraich from the Suraj-kund “ by regular stages.” 
As he had taken a great fancy to the spot, he ordered a platform of masonry to be built 
under the shade of the Mahwa tree to serve him for a seat. Apparently, this was the scene 
of his death, as, during the battle, he directed his followers to throw the bodies of the dead 
believers into the Suraj-kund, while the few troops that remained stood round him in the 
garden. His chief opponent in this last battle w T as Rai Saluir Deo, who is clearly the 
same as Sahri Dal or Sohil Deo, of my informants. Musaud’s tomb is at Bahraich, but this 
was not built until two centuries later. The tomb at Asokpur, may, I think, be that of 
his relative Salar Saifuddin, who was killed in the same battle. 

t Beal’s Fa Hian, c. XIX.. XX. ; and Julien’s Hwen Thsang, II., 292. 



If AP 

B. Stupa of Prasenajit 

C. Vihar of Prajapati 

D. Stupa of Sndatta 

E. Stupa of the Anguli maty as 
GG Two Stone Pillars. 

H. Stupa of the Sick Bhikshu 

K . Stupa of Mudgalaputra 

L. Well of Buddha 

M. Stupa of Asoka 

P. Gulf of Devadctta 

S. Buddhist Vihar 

T. Bralimanical Temple 

V. Stupa of Sariputra 

W. Purwarama 

X. Stupa of Visaklia 

Y. Massacre of 500 Sakya Maidens 
Z . Gulf of Virudhaka 

.Jet avana 

A- Cun mug Vi am del 

i 1 1 i 1 i i i 1 1 L 

soo o 1O00 

of the Ruins of 
and the 


now called 


HuserL Jot 

* Sim 

Litho. at the Suivr. Gent’s. Office. Ca.. September 1371 



the south hank of the Rapti, called Sdhet MdJiet , in which 
I discovered a colossal statue of Buddha with an inscription 
containing the name of Sravasti itself, I have no hesitation 
in correcting Hwen Thsang’s distance from 500 li to 350 li 
as proposed above. 

The ruined city of Sahet Mahet is situated between 
Akaona and Balrampur, at 5 miles from the former and 12 
miles from the latter, and at nearly equi-distances from 
Bahraich and Gonda In shape it is an almost semi-circular 
cresent, with its diameter of one mile and a third in length 
curved inwards and facing the north-east, along the old bank 
of the Rapti River. The western front, which runs due 
north and south, for three-quarters of a mile, is the only 
straight portion of the enclosure. The ramparts vary con- 
siderably in height ; those to the west being from 35 to 40 
feet in height, while those on the south and east are not more 
than 25 or 30 feet. The highest point is the great north-west 
bastion, which is 50 feet above the fields. The north-east 
face, or shorter curve of the cresent, was defended by the 
Rapti, which still flows down its old bed during the annual 
floods. The land ramparts on the longer curve of the cresent 
must once have been defended by a ditch, the remains of 
which yet exist as a swamp, nearly half a mile in length, at 
the south-west corner. Everywhere the ramparts are 
covered with fragments of brick, of the large size peculiar 
to very ancient cities ; and, though I was unable to trace any 
remains of walls except in one place, yet the very presence 
of the bricks is quite sufficient to show that the earthen 
ramparts must once have been crowned by brick parapets 
and battlements. The portion of the parapet wall, which I 
discovered still standing in the middle of the river face, was 
10 feet thick. The whole circuit of the old earthen ramparts, 
according to my survey, is 17,300 feet, or upwards of 3^ 
miles. Now, this is the exact size of 20 li or 3^ miles which 
Hwen Thsang gives to the palace alone; but as the city was 
then derserted and in ruins, he must have mistaken the city 
itself for the palace.* It is certain at least that the 
suburbs outside the walls must have been very limited, indeed 
— as the place is almost entirely surrounded with the remains 

* Sec plate No. L. for a map of 
Tlisang, II., 133. 

tlie ruins of Sravasti, and compare Julicn's Hwen 




of large religious buildings, wbicli would have left hut little 
room for any private dwellings. I am therefore quite satisfied 
that the city has been mistaken for the palace ; and this 
mistake is sufficient to show how utterly ruined this once 
famous city must have been at so distant a period as the 7th 
century, when the place was visited by, Hwen Thsang. As Pa 
Ilian describes the population as already very inconsiderable 
in A